Police arrest “key” labour trafficking suspect who allegedly earned millions of baht

Migrants stopped by the Thai-Myanmar border / Photo via Facebook/ Kanchanaburi News

Police say they’ve arrested a “key” suspect who allegedly earned millions of baht leading a human trafficking operation. Following the man’s arrest, police accessed his bank account and say he earned around 14 million baht over the past year with his earnings increasing during Covid-19 outbreaks.

Over the past year, officers tightened border patrol along the Thai-Myanmar border and focused on catching migrants who were entering Thailand illegally through natural passageways, evading checkpoints and the mandatory quarantine period. Following the December Covid-19 outbreak at the fishing hub in Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok, infecting hundreds of migrant workers, officers shifted their focus to crackdown on labour traffickers.

The alleged trafficker, Hasim Jirakitbamrung, was recently arrested in Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pha Phum district. Hundreds of Burmese migrants have been detained in the province over the past few months, with many saying they had jobs set up in Thailand. Police say Hasim is a “key human trafficker.”

“Investigations found the suspect had around 14 million baht in his bank account over the past year and that his earnings have jumped twofold during the spread of Covid-19.”

When police reviewed Hasim’s bank account, they found every transfer made to the account before December was around 100,000 baht to 600,000 baht. The account was reactivated in April. Police also searched his home in the Sangkhla Buri district and found bank books that showed 5 million baht deposits were made as well as SIM cards and Thai nationality documents.

Police had learned about Hasim earlier this after the arrest of one of his alleged gang members, Kriangsak Janya, who faces charges for allegedly trafficking 19 Burmese migrants into Thailand. He allegedly told police that Hasim paid him 2,000 baht to traffick the migrants.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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