Seven Bangladeshi men who posed themselves as Buddhist monks to evade Thai Immigration’s radar were arrested in Songkhla province on Saturday, September 23rd. They were charged for illegally entering the country.
The foreign men were captured in the southern province of Songkhla as they were headed to Malaysia. Songkhla immigration in collaboration with Hat Yai tourist police arrested these imposter monks on a tip-off from an anonymous concerned citizen.
Having shaved their heads and dressed in monk robes, the foreigners thought they could avoid the authorities’ eye as they tried to cross to Malaysia. A 46-year-old man only identified as Mr. Rupdah admitted to being the group’s leader.
Upon investigation, it was determined that all seven men had entered Thailand illicitly through a natural route in Mae Sot district, Tak province, from Myanmar after having successfully come from Bangladesh. They were intending to travel to Narathiwat and subsequently planned to continue on to Malaysia.
During the search of their belongings, it was discovered that the men were also in possession of regular clothing and lacked any monk identification documents. This raised suspicions that they may have been impersonating as monks to evade scrutiny by authorities.
The men were charged with illegally entering Thailand. After they left their robes and monkhood at Wat Khok Samankhun, they were transferred to Hat Yai Police Station to await deportation back to Bangladesh.