Chinese beggar nabbed in Bangkok, human trafficking suspected

Photo via SiamRath

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.

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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

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