PM urged to rescue Moroccans trapped by human trafficking gang

Another human trafficking group arrested in April, image courtesy of the CIB

An anti-human trafficking organisation urgently called upon Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to assist 21 Moroccan citizens trapped by a scammer gang on the Thai-Myanmar border. This plea comes after months of inaction from various agencies.

A prominent anti-trafficking group, Exodus Road, revealed the Moroccan Embassy in Bangkok had reached out for help on behalf of the victims. The embassy contacted multiple agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Royal Thai Army, the Department of Special Investigation, and the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok through an official letter in mid-May.

Since no progress has been reported, Exodus Road decided to escalate the matter to the prime minister. A source disclosed that the Moroccans were deceived by a Chinese transnational crime syndicate, promising them jobs in Thailand’s e-commerce sector with a starting salary of approximately US$1,000 (36,730 baht) per month.

Upon their arrival in Thailand in February, the group was forcibly taken to Hpa Lu village in Myanmar’s Myawaddy district, close to Thailand’s Phob Phra district in Tak province. The victims are reportedly confined in a room and subjected to routine torture.

They were coerced into contacting their relatives to demand US$6,000 to US$8,000 in ransom, with threats of being sold to another gang if the money was not paid.

In April, five victims managed to have their families pay the ransom, yet they remain in captivity, according to the source.

Exodus Road has also reached out to Fair Party MP Kannavee Suebsang for assistance. Kannavee previously played a crucial role in the evacuation of refugees in Laukkaing, Shan state, during a rebel siege.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Kannavee highlighted that, apart from the Moroccan citizens, the Chinese-operated syndicate has also taken 41 Sri Lankans hostage in Myanmar. Kannavee has called on the government to initiate a rescue mission, with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security taking the lead through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) method.

“Many gangs are operating out of ‘No Man’s Land’ right across the border from Tak’s Phob Phra district, due to the lack of law enforcement in the area and easy access to Thailand’s telecom infrastructure.”

The alarming situation underscores the urgent need for coordinated rescue efforts and stricter law enforcement in border areas to prevent such human trafficking incidents, reported Bangkok Post.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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