The first batch of 12 Thai women detained in Malaysia as witnesses in a human trafficking case since last September have been released and returned to Thailand on Thursday.
The women whose identities were not disclosed were escorted by Malaysian officials to the Thai customs checkpoint in Sadao district of Songkhla and handed over to Thai officials led by Rear Admiral Somkiart Pholprayoon, deputy secretary-general of Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre.
The rear admiral told the Press that the centre learned about the arrest of 21 Thai women who went to Malaysia to work on November 5 and was instructed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to coordinate with the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur to visit the women and to try to secure their release.
In the meantime, he said the centre had contacted the women's relatives in Thailand to assure them that the government had been trying to help them.
He admitted that the centre would have to wait until the return of the remaining nine women to be able to tell what offences these woman had committed in Malaysia which landed them in detention.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)