KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Thailand is currently building an electric fence along its border with Malaysia, and also plans to set up 357 close circuit television (CCTVs) cameras along the same stretch to stop cross-border smuggling, a report has said.
According to Thai news outlet Bangkok Post, 357 CCTVs would be placed along a 106km stretch of the Thai-Malaysia border to aid in border surveillance, including 80km of the river bank of the Golok River which flows between the two countries.
Bangkok Post reported Thailand’s defence minister Sutin Klungsang as saying that the project would help improve border security and also prevent smuggling of migrant workers, weapons, narcotics and contraband.
According to Bangkok Post, some locals had expressed privacy concerns over CCTV cameras near their houses while authorities had given the explanation that the cameras are to help ensure their safety.
Sutin said security officers along the Thai-Malaysia border would need to protect the CCTV cameras from being vandalised, and that local officials should also help look after them as they are funded by taxpayers.
Bangkok Post said a few types of CCTVs including facial recognition cameras would have a real-time connection to security centres and the forward command.
The first phase of the electric fence and CCTV project will be at Narathiwat province — with Kelantan and Perak at its southern borders, particularly Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district.
Bangkok Post said this is because some parts of the river in Tak Bai district are narrow and made smuggling or illegal entry across the Thai-Malaysia border easy.
Previously in May, the Kelantan Customs Department (JKDM) was reported saying that authorities monitor the Thai-Malaysia border to curb smuggling, and had also urged the public to help fight smuggling for items such as cigarettes, liquor, firecrackers, drugs and vehicles.