A boat captain suspected of mistreating 6 Cambodian workers and depriving them of their wages has been arrested in Samut Sakhon, a central Thai province, following his nearly 5 years on the lam.
The 59 year old captain identified only as Somwang was arrested at a shopping centre. Somwang faces charges of colluding in human trafficking by forcing labour, as per an arrest warrant issued by Nakhon Si Thammarat provincial court in 2016, and for breaching labour and customs laws as per 4 warrants issued by various provincial courts, says division commander Siam Boonsom.
Tor, a Cambodian national whose last name was not provided, told officials that Somwang and another man, Charnchai, who owned an offshore oil vessel, told Tor they would pay him and 5 others 9,000 baht a month to work on the vessel. The 6 men took the offer, but after working for a month, they were still not, allegedly, paid. At this point, Charnchai said they would have to work on the ship for a year before he would pay them.
The men say they were unable to contact anyone while they worked on the ship; also, that they were not allowed to go ashore. After working the full year, the men were allowed to go ashore. They say they were still not paid. The workers then petitioned various agencies and filed a complaint with Khanom district police in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Investigators took over from there and got approval from the Nakhon Si Thammarat court to issue warrants for Somwang and Charnchai.
The captain took off for a different province following the arrest warrants being issued, but was recently apprehended in Samut Sakhon, says Siam. Charnchai was arrested prior to Somwang’s arrest and sentenced to jail; how many years or months he was sentenced to has not been stated. Somwang has denied all charges. Somwang has been given to the Khanom police for further legal proceedings.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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