ISOC to fence the Thai-Malaysian border
The Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) is pondering a plan to build a fence along the entire Thai-Malaysian border as a deterrent against cross-border illegal activities such as trafficking of oil, drug, human and bomb-making chemicals.
ISOC spokesman Colonel Banphot Poonpien said recently that the border-fencing plan was initiated by Army Commander-in-Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha and was proposed to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in her capacity as the defence minister for consideration.
He said both the Thai and Malaysian governments had agreed with the plan in principle and the matter would be raised for discussion in details at the joint border committee.
The fence will be made up of concrete wall, iron mesh, barbed wire, multi-purpose dam and trees.
Details of the fence are as follows: 6.5 kilometre of concrete wall fence in Na Thawee district of Songkhla; 68.9 kilometre long of iron-mesh fence stretching from Tak Bai district of Narathiwat to Sadao and Sabayoi districts of Songkhla; 46 kilometre long of barbed-wire fence in Narathiwat’s Waeng district and another 26-kilometre long of barbed-wire fence in Yala: 9.3 kilometre long of multi-purpose dam topped with iron mesh in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district; 400.7 kilometre long of wooded fence in Narathiwat, Songkhla, Yala and Satun provinces.
The entire Thai-Malaysian border is 647 kilometre long with 56 km in Satun, 150 km in Songkhla, 267 km in Yala and 174 km in Narathiwat of which 95 km are in the sea.
Oil smuggling is a multi-billion baht thriving illegal business in the deep South. It was believed that a large number of officials, both military and non-military, have been on the take from the operators despite the suspicion that some proceeds from the underground business have been channeled to separatist gangs.