Big Joke oversees return of 81 Thais detained in Myanmar

Major General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, the head of Thai Immigration has overseen the return of 81 Thais that were detained in Myanmar Feb. 3.

The 48 Thai men and 33 women were arrested in Tachilek, Shan State some 10 kilometers from the border on immigration charges after Thai authorities asked Myanmar authorities to search for possible drug smugglers.

The handover occurred at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai at 10:30 p.m. yesterday, Feb. 6.

Of the 81 arrested, seven had outstanding arrest warrants in Thailand.

All of the 81 will also be penalized under Thai law with Big Joke saying that they will be charged with leaving the country without notifying authorities.