Thai police and Interpol unite to combat human trafficking in Southeast Asia

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) is set to collaborate with Interpol in establishing a coordinating centre to combat human trafficking gangs operating in Southeast Asia.

A meeting between Thai police officials and the FBI took place at the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore to discuss human trafficking prevention strategies. The centre aims to tackle online crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors and human trafficking in countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

The ongoing conflict in Myanmar has led to an increase in human trafficking gangs, making it challenging to assist victims in the region. However, Interpol can still provide support by coordinating with international police based in Thailand and the RTP. To date, Thai police and Interpol have resolved 12 human trafficking cases in Myanmar and assisted 88 victims of various nationalities. Nine other cases are currently being worked on, reported Bangkok Post.

To enhance the fight against human trafficking, Interpol plans to develop an operational plan and establish a coordinating centre in Thailand. The deputy national police chief has agreed to this move.

According to Pol. Gen. Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, illicit drug gangs are likely linked to human trafficking and illegal fisheries. Tackling these issues effectively requires cooperation from all parties to enforce international laws.

In previous meetings with Myanmar authorities, the RTP obtained information about cases of sexual abuse against minors from the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Interpol.

The RTP has instructed police to step up their search for trafficking victims and requested more information from Interpol through the International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database. The RTP’s Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) taskforce will lead the operation and keep Interpol informed on the progress.

Last week, Thai authorities apprehended a 17 year old male suspected of being involved in a child prostitution ring in the heart of Bangkok. The suspect allegedly lured male and female minors to sell sexual services in a “swinging” fashion. A background check revealed the suspect had been caught in a human trafficking case previously. Read more about the story HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.