The move is part of a project called “Andaman Guard”. It aims to convince migrants travelling along the route from Myanmar to Thailand not to go ashore – by providing them food, medicine and fuel so they can continue to a third country.
Ranong police captured 299 Rohingya – including 23 women and 13 children – in two round-ups this month, deputy provincial chief Pol Colonel Kritsak Sungmulnak said.
The first of 104 Rohingya arrests in Ranong was recorded to have occurred in 1998, with the number of illegal migrants entering the country rising each year.
They travel the 1255km from western Myanmar to Thailand on fishing boats when the sea is generally calmer between November and April. Thousands are said to have taken to boats in recent weeks. The journey typically takes about a fortnight.