Foreign affairs dep’t working to bring home Filipina tourist detained in Myanmar

Image: Samson family
Image: Samson family

Efforts are underway to repatriate a Filipina tourist who is currently detained in the town of Myawaddy, Myanmar, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The family of 25-year-old Kiela Samson appealed for help from the government a few days before after their daughter was arrested near the Thai-Burmese border. She reportedly boarded a boat at Mae Sot in Thailand on Jan. 17.

Yet the DFA said that bringing home Samson as well as eight other detained Filipinos will not be easy, as Myawaddy, which is close to the Thai border, is a remote area.

According to ABS-CBN News, Samson last managed to have a video call with her family while under detention at the Myawaddy police station on Jan. 19. She and a friend had been vacationing in Thailand since Dec. 7. Her tourist visa expired on Jan. 20.

Samson’s family denied in an interview that their daughter could have been looking for a job in Myanmar, narrating that someone had offered them a boat ride to view tourist sites.

“She told us that she and her friend were exploring Thailand that time and they had reached Mae Sot. They went to a tourist attraction when someone offered them a boat ride. They got intrigued because the boat looked beautiful. They were told that when they cross the river, there would be a tourist spot so they went,” Kiela’s sister, Elaine, said.

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