Connect with us

Thailand

Former Thai General seeks asylum in Australia

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

BANGKOK: A former high-ranking police officer, who headed a human-trafficking investigation that led to the arrests of state officials, is seeking political asylum in Australia, he disclosed yesterday.

Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin said he was seeking asylum, as he felt unsafe in Thailand.

“If I remained in the police force, I would be in danger. I sought help from my supervisors but received nothing – no protection, no mercy and no compassion,” he told The Nation.

“Even after I resigned from the service, nobody seemed to care. So I decided to bring my family to Australia immediately after the national police chief approved my resignation,” he said.

Gen Paween, 57, arrived in Melbourne on a tourist visa.

He resigned last month after being transferred, against his will, to the insurgency-plagued southern border region. Gen Paween told the Australian media that the traffickers he was pursuing were influential in that region and some senior police in the area were involved with the trade.

He then opted to quit rather than take up a new post, after allegedly receiving death threats.

“I worked in the trafficking area to help people in trouble. But now it is me who is in trouble. I believe there should be some safe place for me – somewhere on this Earth where I will receive help,” he told The Guardian.

Gen Paween said he was seeking asylum in Australia, as he has friends there who could assist him.

In May, Gen Paween was appointed head of the police team investigating a human-trafficking ring active in the South, after many shallow graves and bodies of suspected Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh were found in the border area with Malaysia.

The investigation led to the arrests of more than 90 people, including local businesspeople, politicians, administrators and senior military officers, who were charged with human trafficking.

This list included Manas Kongpan, a powerful army general in the South, accused of being a linchpin and using his local influence to funnel migrants through the region. Gen Manas denied the charges.

Gen Paween’s unit was disbanded and the investigation declared complete in early October.

Speaking before he left the country and visibly shaken, Gen Paween said he was ordered to stop the investigation prematurely and that many more officials were likely involved in the trade.

“There are some good soldiers, but in the police and the military, there are some very bad ones involved in human trafficking,” Gen Paween said to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Melbourne . “I feel deeply sad. It is so unfair that people who did these things will not be punished.”

He remains a witness in the trial of the officials charged in connection with the alleged trafficking of migrants. However, he said that he had no plans of returning to Thailand to testify in the case.

Amy Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, said that the outlook was not promising for Thailand, regarding its battle against human trafficking.

“This trial is a test of Thailand’s commitment to end human trafficking, and the prognosis isn’t looking good,” Ms Smith said. “Gen Paween and other investigators should be supported to combat human trafficking in Thailand, not be forced into hiding.”

— The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 14,260 new infections, news briefs

Thailand7 hours ago

Department head predicts Covid-19 could last up to another year

World8 hours ago

Swedish prison hostage situation resolved with pizza

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand10 hours ago

Minister: Foreigners, migrant workers are cared for amid Covid-19

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

“Withhold Intubation” for certain older Thammasat Hospital patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Bang Sue vaccination centre open for expats 60+, under must wait

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus News & Updates15 hours ago

“Covid-19” deaths said to cause crematorium in Bangkok to partially collapse

Thailand15 hours ago

Nakhon Sawan farmers make large profits growing fingerroot as Covid cure

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Leaked document: military arranging private Moderna vaccines

Thailand17 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat arrest drug suspect hiding in jar

Media17 hours ago

19 year old man drowns in a Kanchanaburi river while rescuing his puppy

Thailand17 hours ago

Online registration site up for interprovincial travel permission

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox tweak, ‘filthy rich’ visa, Chon Buri restrictions | July 23

Phuket17 hours ago

18 infections today in Phuket creeps closer to 90/week threshold

Thailand18 hours ago

BMA plans to open 53 “community isolation centres”

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending