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Thai official says child bride has returned from Malaysia

AP  |  Bangkok 

An 11-year-old Thai girl who married a 41-year-old Malaysian man has been sent back to from Malaysia, a senior Thai welfare said today.

The at the said the girl, whose situation was made public in June, has been put under the care of the ministry.

Witat Techaboon, of the ministry's Department of Children and Youth, said he could not provide any other details because the topic is sensitive.

The Malaysian newspaper The Star, citing a Thai that it did not name, said officials of Malaysia's state sent the girl to yesterday.

The case produced calls in both and for strengthening laws against child marriage.

Che Abdul Hamid is believed to have secretly married the girl a Thai citizen who lives with her parents in as his third wife in Thailand.

Holding a Muslim wedding ceremony in Thailand skirted Thai and Malaysian marriage laws.

Muslim girls under the minimum legal marriage age of 16 can wed with the consent of the and their parents in

Muslim men in Malaysia can marry four wives.

Thai law sets the minimum legal age for marriage at 17, though courts may allow marriage of younger individuals if there is an appropriate reason. The reasons, however, are not defined in the law.

Che in July was fined RM1,800 (USD 440) by a for marrying a minor without its prior consent and taking an additional wife without permission from his other spouses.

He earlier told Malaysia's agency that his marriage was lawful and had been approved by the girl's parents, who are Thai citizens who live and work in as

He said he would only formalize the marriage in Malaysia when the girl turned 16 and that she would stay with her parents until then.

The girl was quoted by as saying she loves Che because he is a kind man.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 10 2018. 18:30 IST