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17 children rescued from Patong human-trafficking gang

17 children rescued from Patong human-trafficking gang

PHUKET: A series of raids by police have safely taken into protection 17 children held by a human-trafficking operation in Patong, which saw children who did not bring home enough money being beaten with a coat hanger.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 24 February 2020, 10:54AM

Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya, an assistant to the national police chief, explained at a press conference at Phuket Provincial Police headquarters in Phuket Town yesterday (Feb 23) that the children were taken into protection after raids at four locations in Patong.

Officers from Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division in Bangkok first raided a home in Soi Sila Uthit in Patong, where officers arrested foreign national Ngo Sun, 33, whose nationality was not disclosed, and Thai national Suphattra Charoensuk, 22, originally from Koh Samui.

Both were wanted by an arrest warrant issued on Friday (Feb 21), Lt Gen Jaruwat said.

At the house, officers found three children and equipment for making garlands, which the children were forced to sell.

Officers also took 14 more children into protection at three other houses, in Soi Phra Baramee 1 and Soi Nanai 2. At all three locations officers also found equipment for making garlands.

All the 17 children were Cambodian and were taken to the Phuket Shelter for Children and Families on Koh Siray, Lt Gen Jaruwat said.

“Officers will attempt to track down their parents,” he added.

“From questioning, the children were ‘hired’ [sic] by a group of foreigners. They told the children’s parents that they would take the children to work and pay the parents B5,000 per month.

“After parents agreed, they brought the children into Thailand through jungle paths then came to Phuket. They rent houses where they stayed with the children and had children sell items on the beach,” Lt Gen Jaruwat explained.

CMI - Thailand

“Some of the children are younger than 15 years old. They did not have any days off, and some of them started working in the morning until midnight,” he added.

“They did not receive any money from the things they sold. If they could not reach the daily target, which was around B3,000, they were hit with a clothes hanger and forced to work until they made B3,000,” Lt Gen Jaruwat said.

The investigation started after some of the children could not bare the beatings anymore, and fled to other provinces,” Lt Gen Jaruwat said.

The suspects arrested will be charged for human trafficking, Lt Gen Jaruwat added.

“The suspects arrested will be questioned as the investigation is expanded,” he said.

“There are still some foreigners involved in this operation that are likely to still be in the Kingdom of Thailand illegally, and police will track these people down so they can be punished in accordance with the law,” he concluded.

All throughout the press conference, Lt Gen Jaruwat made no mention of any involvement by Patong Police in the raids or investigation.

However, Col Akkanit Danpitaksan, who took up the post as Patong Police Chief on Jan 1, was present throughout the press conference.

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Pascale | 28 February 2020 - 15:26:54

" Sometime silence speaks more than talking" Yes K.,you should stick to that more frequently.

Kurt | 28 February 2020 - 08:13:24

Well, it is clear. 'All done' by Bangkok. Not by Patong police. Why not? The Patong police Chief was present at press conference, silent as a mouse. Sometime silence speaks more than talking. What are the nationalities of involved criminal foreigners?

JohnRichardShaw | 28 February 2020 - 01:24:27

Tip of the iceberg.
How about the 100,000 children trafficked through the triangle annually to feed the brothels, brick works and forced organ donations? Obviously these 'major criminals' in Patong didn't pay the police enough to turn a blind eye whereas  the traffickers in the triangle can buy off police, politicians and border security at will.

Jor12 | 27 February 2020 - 15:05:59 is not the sole responsibility of Police to nurse maid all of society. The constituent society itself plays a part.

Kurt | 27 February 2020 - 10:10:44

The sad thing is:  The thai police can be very good and skilled in their job if they want or are ordered. Many published cases confirm that. However, there a numerous criminal happening the RTP not look into. Perhaps ordered not to look into, or a kind of involvement that makes it impossible to handle it correct. It is simple, one only can wear 1 brown cap at the time.

malczx7r | 26 February 2020 - 16:23:53

I too read this story ages ago, amazing how it needs bkk police to come and sort it out, right under the noses of Patong police! Wasn't that the same with that illegal club that they claimed hey knew nothing about and also whenever fake goods need a clamp down, just goes to show the level of confidence in the local boys in brown!

Kurt | 24 February 2020 - 13:27:02

I red this 'slavery' story also a while ago. Is this the same affair or another new one? How much is the fine for this children trafficking?   1000,000 THB, same as for tourists smoking at Phuket beaches? Or are these children slave bosses go to jail a year or 10?

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