Two Uighur migrants who escaped a detention centre in the Mae Sot District of western Thailand are being hunted by authorities along the nearby Burmese border.
A largely wooded area with some agricultural fields near the detention centre was being searched earlier in the day after the escapees were understood to have quite literally ‘slipped’ out of the regional detention centre a day earlier.
No immediate details on the security status of the two individuals was being shared, but the manhunt includes teams comprised of members of the police and military in addition to immigration officials.
The men, one in his early 40s and the other in his late 20s were last accounted for inside the detention centre around the middle of Wednesday and are thought to have used soap as part of their escape plan some time later in the day.
If later confirmed, the pair rubbed cheap soap on the iron bars of windows at the detention centre, then waited until rust formed in the humid climate, and eventually managed to saw through the weakened bars and escape to freedom.
Such is the severity of the escape as it is being treated by Thai police, that the deputy national police chief, Police General Suchart Theerasawat, himself went to oversee the hunt today in addition to holding meetings with local immigration staff.
Local police reports do now seem to indicate that it was not the first successful escape for the two men; both had previously escaped from an immigration detention facility in rural Nong Khai province on the opposite side of Thailand near the Laotian border.
Their time on the lam following that escape lasted a full three weeks before they were apprehended and transferred to Mae Sot.
It is thought the two may now have fled into Myanmar.