Thailand has been criticized over its allegedly poor treatment of Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar who have been apprehended either on land or at sea as they have been trafficked through the country.
The poor reputation is one of the reasons why Thailand has been relegated to Tier 3 of the US government’s human trafficking index, a negative status that has had negative economic repercussions, particularly for the Thai seafood industry that has received bad marks over its treatment of migrant and often trafficked workers.
Thailand is looking to improve its standing but Mr Yongyudh declined media queries as to where the Rohingya - who typically have fled persecution in Myanmar or are seeking job opportunities – might be sent.
He added that the Thai government does not want to deport the Rohingya for fear that they would be in danger, according to the newspaper.
The position of the Muslim Rohingya is a hot issue with the Myanmar government claiming they are illegal Bengali immigrants and refusing to give them citizenship unless they identify themselves as Bengali.