2 former ministers accused of demanding bribes from Thai workers in Finland

Photo via bangkokbiznews

Former Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin is seeking justice after accusing the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) of damaging his reputation by calling out two former labour ministers for demanding bribes from Thai workers in Finland.

ThaiRath reported that Thailand considers workers to be victims of human trafficking if employers detain, abuse or illegally exploit them. However, the law in Finland is different and more detailed. For example, workers who are kept in unsuitable accommodation or do not have enough food and facilities are considered victims of trafficking.

Recently, the authorities in Finland rescued several Thai workers considered to be the victims of human trafficking. They were considered victims of trafficking because they revealed to the authorities that they had to pay bribes to return to Thailand when their work in Finland ended.

After the rescue, the Finnish authorities reported the case to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry then referred the case to the DSI for further investigation into human trafficking and the extra fee.

After further investigation into the case, the DSI found that each Thai worker travelled to Finland and worked there legally under Thai law but later became victims of human trafficking when they returned to Thailand.

The workers were charged 3,000 baht as a service fee during their returns a fee that was not included in their official contracts. More than 12,000 Thai workers in Finland between 2020 and 2023 were charged this extra fee bringing the total loss to more than 36 million baht.

The DSI reported that four suspects may have been involved in the fraud, including two former ministers and two senior officials in the Ministry of Labour.

The identities of the four accused government authorities have not yet been disclosed by the DSI. Nevertheless, former Labour Minister Suchart believes that the allegations have harmed his reputation. Suchart insisted on his innocence and urged the DSI to disclose the precise identities of the accused ministers.

Suchart explained that he assumed the position in 2020, leading to many people misunderstanding that he was one of the ministers referenced by the DSI. Suchart added that he is presently consulting with his legal team and may initiate legal proceedings against anyone who has tarnished his image and reputation.

Suchart Chomklin visits Thais in Finland
The former Labour Minister, Suchart Chomklin, visited Thai workers in Finland when he was in the position. | Photo via bangkokbiznews

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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