Chiang Mai human trafficking gang busted, 3 underage victims rescued

Picture courtesy of Khaosod.

Thailand’s plague of human trafficking has once again reared its ugly head.

Thai authorities have arrested members of a human trafficking gang operating in Chiang Mai. The arrests followed tip-offs from organisations fighting human trafficking, such as Destiny Rescue and the Immanuel Foundation. Officials discovered that My Tirak Bar and My Tirak Pub were offering sexual services, involving minors, to foreign customers.

Manrat Rattanasukonn, Director-General of the Department of Provincial Administration, stated that the department had received information from the organisations about these venues. According to the sources, the establishments were located in Soi Loi Kroh, Soi 3ka, Chang Klan sub-district, Chiang Mai Province and were secretly using minors under 18 years old for sex services with foreign customers. The information prompted a joint investigation by law enforcement officials and the Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking.

“In a joint operation with the Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking, the Department of Provincial Administration raided both the My Tirak Bar and My Tirak Pub. Managers of the establishments were apprehended, and the victims rescued from the premises were taken into the national referral mechanism process. The Department of Social Development and Human Security of Chiang Mai later provided support to rehabilitate these victims”, said Manrat.

The two arrested individuals face ten charges, including soliciting prostitution, trafficking of children, and operating an unlicensed establishment, Khaosod reported. They will be prosecuted by the police and related agencies.

To further combat human trafficking, Rattanasukonn urged the public to report any suspicious activity to the 1567 hotline, which is available 24 hours a day. He stressed that the Thai government is committed to tackling human trafficking and ensuring peace and prosperity in the country.

Last week, it was reported that Royal Thai Police (RTP) is set to collaborate with Interpol in establishing a coordinating centre to combat human trafficking gangs operating in Southeast Asia. A meeting between Thai police officials and the FBI took place at the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore to discuss human trafficking prevention strategies.

The centre aims to tackle online crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors and human trafficking in countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Chiang Mai NewsCrime NewsThailand News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.