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Thai police to crackdown on labour traffickers

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai police to crackdown on labour traffickers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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Thai Police are shifting their focus from illegal migrants to labour traffickers, saying they plan to make major arrests after enough evidence is gathered. Fingers have been pointing at the Burmese migrant community after hundreds of migrant workers in Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus.

Since neighbouring Myanmar reported a rise in Covid-19 cases back in September, border patrol tightened security and arrested a number of migrants for allegedly crossing the border illegally. After the surge in local cases over the weekend, particularly among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, the Royal Thai Army admitted that they cannot keep people from crossing the around 2,000 kilometre Thai-Myanmar border.

National Police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says police have “some idea” of who is trafficking the migrants across the border and to worker camps throughout Thailand. They are now gathering evidence to make arrests.

With a new wave of local cases in Thailand and the Burmese migrant population in the spotlight, Suwat says the police force will focus on arresting traffickers rather than the workers and will address the problem in a “humanitarian manner.”

“If we pour our resources in dealing with illegal migrants, the numbers will drop but not disappear. There are many limitations to our work, but this has become a priority. We will first focus on traffickers, especially those who use natural channels.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Not before time.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Why should it bother someone from Isaan?

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 8:42 pm

        I’m not “from” Isaan, I live in Isaan.

        It bothers me because I disapprove of scapegoating the occasional minnow while the sharks are allowed to thrive at the minnows’ expense.

        • Avatar

          John Brown

          Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 3:20 am

          Would that there were only ten thousand Isaan Johns who cared this much for our welfare and social conscience, who could band together to form an effective lobbying group. Would that putting civics questions on our immigration application forms could produce such a result. The stereotype of “dirty farang” would evaporate, and the respect that Thais have for foreigners would not be based on wealth and ingenuity, but on wealth of conscience and ingenuity for making society *work*.

          Almost brings a tear to my overworked and sleep-deprived eyes.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 3:13 pm

            It’s your country, not mine, and like anywhere else it’s ultimately up to you what leaders and government you get – just as it is in the UK and the USA where the people are being badly served by a bunch of clowns, and they’re suffering as a result but only have themselves to blame.

        • Avatar

          Richard

          Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 2:46 pm

          Nothing will happen to them anyway, punishment will consist of a relocation only.

        • Avatar

          John Brown

          Friday, December 25, 2020 at 2:33 am

          Not all Thais are ethno-nationalistic. If you have lived here for 30-odd years and have substantial connections to and concerns for the welfare of the people around you and those around them, then I do consider you a fellow Thai in most of the ways I think matter, whether or not you have also been granted the right to participate in formalized political processes. As for ethno-nationalistic Thais, the gentle support of outsiders for Thailand taking steps towards the right side of history helps a great deal. Just expressing appreciation for your opinions on things like this which do matter!

      • Avatar

        No jokes please

        Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 12:39 am

        What is that to you, Slug, what bothers someone from Isaan?

  2. Avatar

    Graham Jarvis

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    They have ‘some idea’ on this..
    This has been going on for YEARS!

    • Avatar

      Mike

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:04 pm

      Exactly! Gov police know about it decades. It’s the usual ‘crackdown ‘ when there’s publicity. Mai pen Rai

  3. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Yeah, it was okay before, when it put money in the pockets of the hoi-paloi but now that the country is aware of the situation, because of the current Covid-19 clusters, the boys in brown have to look like they are doing something.

    They should have done something long ago…but money is money, and exploited workers aren’t on anyone’s radar as long as the elite are raking in the dough.

    It’s shameful.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      Andy Hall broke the news on this a few years ago with his articles on the fruit factories, followed by years of being sued for defamation.

      Coincidentally, the last civil case against him was finally dropped only a couple of months ago after the Supreme Court had dismissed all charges against him.

  4. Avatar

    Zig

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    More BS fodder for the public to lap up

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    “police have “some idea” of who is trafficking the migrants” – Understatement of the day.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      The “day”???

  6. Avatar

    Keith

    Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 5:59 am

    will they go after the people who hire these illegals? doubt it too much money involved

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Under the 2008 Migrant Labour Act, the illegal migrants face a fine of up to 100,000 baht and / or five years imprisonment. For their employers, a fine of up to 100,000 baht, (it’s 400,000 in the UK so comparable).

      A fair amount, if the fine’s for every illegal employee.

      IF.

      Those who dumped the 14 at the side of the road “could be charged for violating the Governor’s order on travel restrictions of migrant workers. The order, which was imposed under the emergency decree, carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a 40,000 baht fine.”

  7. Avatar

    Ben

    Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Maybe they’ll work on finding “Boss” next.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Thailand

Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Several hotels and restaurants in Phuket and Chaiyaphum were raided this morning and 50 people were arrested for allegedly stealing from the government subsidy scheme “We Travel Together.” The scheme was launched to help businesses that were financially hit by the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic and to stimulate the battered economy.

Last month, the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a criminal complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme which covered 40% of room rates and offered e-vouchers. Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies.

This morning, police arrested 38 people in Chaiyaphum and 12 people in Phuket suspected of cheating the subsidy scheme. Suspects, including hotel and restaurant operators, face charges ranging from fraud and false identification to misusing electronic cards and adding fraudulent information to the computer system.

Nation Thailand says the verification system for the scheme was not stringent and people were able to register fake hotels and list fake bookings. Some hotel operators recorded higher prices for rooms to get a bigger payoff from the government.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

16 Thai Navy officials investigated for alleged involvement in drug trafficking

Caitlin Ashworth

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16 Thai Navy officials investigated for alleged involvement in drug trafficking | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Royal Thai Navy is investigating 16 of its officials for alleged involvement in a drug trafficking operation earlier this month in the Isaan province Nong Khai which borders Laos. If the officials are found guilty, the Navy will immediately take both disciplinary and legal action, according to a spokesperson.

Local officials reportedly seized 2 million amphetamine tablets and 116 kilograms of methamphetamine from a suspect who allegedly smuggled the drugs across the Mekong River, which borders the province. The suspect allegedly fled the scene.

2 Navy officers took the drugs from local officials, saying they would secure the evidence and hold a press conference, which never happened, according to a complaint filed with the Anti-Corruption Police by the Crime Victims Assistance Club chairperson.

“About 20 minutes after the drug seizure, two men who claimed that they were officials from Navy’s Mekong Patrol Operation Command took the drugs from Nong Khai officials, saying that they would secure the evidence and later hold a press conference on the drug seizure… However, the press event was later cancelled.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Police arrest man suspected of producing ketamine drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police arrest man suspected of producing ketamine drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

In the ongoing investigation into the ketamine-based drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths in Bangkok, police arrested a man who allegedly mixed large amounts of narcotics to make the drug cocktail known as “K powdered milk.” Police say the cocktail is ketamine mixed with methamphetamine, heroin and pharmaceutical pills for anxiety and sleeping.

38 year old Taiwan national Chou Yi Sen, aka “Lupin Taiwan,” was arrested yesterday after police raided his condominium in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district. Chou allegedly admitted to mixing the drugs to make “K powdered milk” and police say the formulas for the drug mixture were found on his cell phone.

Earlier this month, 11 people died after taking the drug cocktail. The Bangkok Post says dozens more people are still in the hospital after taking the “K powdered milk.” Police have arrested numerous suspected drug dealers who ran small scale and large scale operations.

Chou allegedly ran the drug operation from various locations in Bangkok, selling the drugs overseas using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as well as to buyers in Thailand. Police also searched Chou’s rooms at other condominium the Huai Khawang, Wang Thong Lang and Klong Toey districts, seizing a variety of illicit drugs and equipment as well as a pistol with 8 bullets.

Altogether, police seized 4 kilograms of ketamine, 376 ecstasy pills, 4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 8 kilograms of heroin, 48 LSD tabs, 11.6 grams of cocaine, 2 bottles of Dormicum sleeping pills and 265 Five Five sleeping pills. Police say they also seized 2 plastic sealing machines, 2 mixers that appeared to have drug-like residue and 2 digital scales.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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