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Police in Shan State say they arrested a man on Friday for illegally crossing the border from China.
The man, identified as Ba Shein, allegedly entered the country from the Chinese town of Ruili through the border checkpoint at Muse.
According to police, he also goes by the names of Mahu Shein and Abdul Hammod and comes from Sintatmaw, a village in Arakan State’s Pauktaw Township, near the state capital Sittwe.
Information provided in the police report states that the suspect was imprisoned in Thailand for a year for illegally entering the country in 2011.
Following his release, he reportedly spent the next four years in a camp administered by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. He told police that in March of this year, he moved to the Umpiem Mai camp in Thailand’s Tak Province, near the border with Karen State.
He told police that he returned to Burma in April and traveled to Muse via the Karen State capital Hpa-an and Mandalay. He then crossed the border to Ruili, where he was arrested and jailed for two months by Chinese authorities for crossing the border illegally.
The Burmese police report said that after he was released, Chinese authorities told him to sneak back into Burma. He was arrested by Muse police as he was traveling to Mandalay on a bus and is now facing trial under Article 13(1) of the Immigration Act for illegal border crossing.
No reason was given for the suspect’s repeated attempts to leave and enter Burma illegally. The police report gave no indication that he was in any way involved in human trafficking, which is common along Burma’s porous borders with its neighbours.
It was also unclear if the man was a member of Arakan State’s stateless Rohingya minority, or if he belonged to another Muslim community.