4 Chinese beggars arrested in Bangkok, at least 4 on the loose

Photo via Facebook/ DSI กรมสอบสวนคดีพิเศษ

Police in Bangkok arrested four Chinese nationals engaged in illegal begging and indicated that additional suspects are still at large after evading arrest. Ongoing investigations are delving into the possibility of human trafficking and the individuals responsible for orchestrating this operation.

Kannatat “Gun” Pongpaiboonwet, a social media influencer, played a pivotal role in the discovery of the illegal Chinese beggars. Acting on a tip-off, Gun promptly relayed the information to officers at Bang Phlat Police Station. Subsequently, on Sunday, November 19, the authorities successfully arrested one Chinese beggar outside Major Cineplex Pinklao.

The pursuit continued, with officers from Pathum Wan and Phayathai Police Stations detaining two more Chinese beggars yesterday, November 20. Meanwhile, Lumpini Police Station nabbed a male Chinese beggar at Asoke BTS station.

Shortly after the arrest, a Chinese national, claiming to be an interpreter, arrived at the police station to present the passports of each beggar. Despite attempting to offer 10,000 baht to secure the beggars’ release, the officers rejected her proposal.

Upon investigation, officers uncovered the presence of multiple Chinese beggars in each area, collectively earning over 10,000 baht per day. Further scrutiny revealed a distinctive pattern among the beggars, including the use of Thai university student uniforms, disfigured faces, and severed hands.

As reported by ThaiRath, all the detained beggars were acquainted with each other. Some admitted to not originating from China but from Malaysia. Additionally, certain individuals had entered Thailand on multiple occasions, staying for approximately 10 days during each visit. In the event of their apprehension, they confessed to offering a payment of 10,000 baht to the officers in exchange for their release and departure from the country.

More Chinese beggars

Four Chinese beggars have been arrested: three Chinese women and one Chinese man.

Gun said he had a list of names and locations of seven Chinese beggars and that three of the names on the list had been arrested. Gun said that the latest male Chinese beggar arrested by Lumpini police yesterday was not on his list, so he believed there must be more than eight.

Gun added that he was involved in the arrest of the latest Chinese male beggar yesterday. The man sat and begged for 30 minutes before being arrested, earning over 900 baht. He had a mobile phone and a condominium key card but claimed he found them on the street, which Gun said was not reasonable.

Gun urged netizens to report the whereabouts of suspicious beggars to him or the police to reach other suspects behind the operation.

Gun called on the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to investigate the case. He believed that a transient criminal gang was involved.


ORIGINAL STORY: Chinese beggar nabbed in Bangkok, human trafficking suspected

Police arrested a Chinese beggar outside the Major Cineplex Pinklao in Bangkok yesterday. Suspicions of human trafficking were raised as there was more than one Chinese beggar and each earned more than 10,000 baht a day.

Social media influencer Kannatat “Gun” Pongpaiboonwet yesterday reported a suspicious beggar to the Bang Phlat Police Station. Gun explained that he had been contacted to help a woman begging outside a shopping centre. The woman, who bore numerous wounds on her face, refused to disclose any information about herself.

Gun drew a connection between this incident and the recent arrest of several Chinese beggars, all aged over 40, who had been wearing Thai university student uniforms while begging.

In the course of the arrest, a Thai woman claimed to be an interpreter for the Chinese group, attempting to secure their release. However, the police dismissed her plea.

Gun harboured suspicions that this begging activity was part of a human trafficking scheme. He speculated that each Chinese national might have been abducted, subjected to torture, and compelled to beg for money at various locations.

Gun asserted that the Chinese individuals would be unaware of the most lucrative begging spots, implying that someone must be orchestrating this operation.

Chinese beggars in Thai student uniforms

Gun decided to pass on the information to Bang Phlat Police Station and visited the site with police yesterday, November 19, for a further investigation. Upon arrival, officers discovered a female beggar in a university student uniform sitting on a footbridge.

ThaiRath reported that the beggar ran away and hid in a bathroom inside the mall after seeing the police officers. Female officers were sent into the bathroom to arrest the beggar.

She was found to be a Chinese woman of about 40 years old. Both of her hands had been cut off and her face had wounds similar to an acid attack. Officers searched her and found 10,700 baht in her bag.

According to investigating officers, the beggar had no papers and barely spoke to them. She was almost mute and could only utter short words.

A Thai vendor told the police that she had been running her shop in front of the mall for more than 10 years and had seen beggars in university uniforms for the first time earlier this year. The arrested Chinese beggar was not alone. She came at the same time every day in the early morning with other beggars.

The vendor added that they stayed begging at every spot in the area until the evening. However, she did not see how they travelled to and from the area and whether there was a gang leader.

Request for bail

The Chinese beggar was taken to Bang Phlat Police Station for questioning. A Chinese woman then appeared at the police station, claiming to be an interpreter who had been hired to bail out the beggar. Police questioned the interpreter about her employer.

The interpreter said her employer was a Chinese national. She met her employer in Bangkok and had dinner with him but she had no idea what her employer did for a living. She added that she was hired to go to the police station and bail out the Chinese beggar but she did not know what charges the beggar was facing.

Officers did not report whether or not they had granted bail to the Chinese beggar. The next step in the investigation was also not revealed.

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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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