Bangkok cops arrest blind Cambodian mum and child for begging

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Police apprehended a blind Cambodian mother and her seven year old daughter, who were found begging at a local market, revealing their daily earnings to be surprisingly high.

Police inspector Papon Ek Bunanan, from the Phra Pradaeng Police Station in Samut Prakan, yesterday received a report from residents about a mother and daughter begging at the Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market entrance on Phet Hueng Road, Moo 10, Bang Yo Subdistrict, Phra Pradaeng District.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the duo consisted of a blind, 46 year old woman named Sok Lee and her seven year old daughter. Both were found without documentation for their stay in Thailand, possessing only Cambodian identification cards.

The police then escorted the pair to the Phra Pradaeng Police Station for further questioning. A search of Sok Lee’s brown fabric shoulder bag revealed personal belongings and nearly 4,000 baht (US$110) in cash, including banknotes and coins. An additional 160 baht (US$4) was found in a clear plastic cup used for begging.

Market vendors reported that Sok Lee and her daughter had been begging at the market since around 4.30pm. Some locals, moved by their plight, gave them money, unaware of their nationality or whether they were genuinely mother and daughter.

Suspicions arose about potential involvement in a begging syndicate, prompting residents to notify the police. Despite their fluent Thai, it was only recently discovered that the pair were Cambodian nationals.

Cambodian beggers

Sok Lee confirmed that the money in her bag was earned from begging. She explained that they first begged at a market in Samae Dam, Bangkok, before moving to the current location.

When the police attempted to take them into custody, the mother and daughter loudly pleaded for release, drawing a crowd of onlookers. This public display was seen as an attempt to garner sympathy and pressure the officers into releasing them.

Further investigations revealed that this was not the first instance of such an arrest by the Phra Pradaeng Police. Previous arrests of mother-daughter beggar pairs indicated potential connections to the same syndicate, all residing in the Rat Burana area.

Sok Lee was charged with illegal entry into the country and begging without permission under Thai law. Meanwhile, the seven year old girl was taken into temporary care by the Samut Prakan Provincial Child and Family Shelter and the Samut Prakan Provincial Homeless Protection Centre until Sok Lee’s legal proceedings concluded. Both are expected to be deported back to Cambodia.

Sok Lee disclosed that she and her daughter had been in Thailand for about two months, staying in Soi Suksawat 38. She resorted to begging due to her blindness and needed her daughter to guide her. Their daily routine involved begging in areas such as Samae Dam, Phra Pradaeng, Rat Burana, and Thung Khru, returning to their room around 9pm, reported Sanook.

They earned at least 3,000 baht (US$82) daily until their arrest. Sok Lee also informed the police that approximately 20 to 30 other Cambodian beggars, living in the same area, engaged in similar activities.

Crime NewsThailand News

Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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