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Head of child beggar racket arrested

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Head of child beggar racket arrested | Thaiger

PATONG: Tee Phan, 37, the kingpin of a child beggar racket, was arrested by Kathu police in Patong early yesterday morning. “Our motorcycle patrol was just checking along the beach road as usual. Then, around 1:30 am, we saw a group of child beggars in front of Patong Seafood Restaurant,” said Pol Capt Adinan Benchasamai. There was a crying boy with no legs, so we stopped and asked what happened to him and what the group of children was doing there.” The crying boy, 12-year-old Jamin, told police that he and his friends were waiting for a man to take them back to a house in the soi next to the water treatment plant on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Rd. Jamin said that he and his friends were from Cambodia. Their parents had sold them to the leader of a beggar gang, who then brought the children to Phuket. They were sent out every afternoon to beg until midnight. From time to time, the gang leader would check on the boys. Whenever any of them was found asleep, he was made to drink water mixed with ‘ya bah’ (the illicit and addictive methamphetamine). Jamin and two other children were taken into custody at Kathu Police Station and charged with working illegally. Police then went in search of the leader of the gang. A man who fit the boys’ description was spotted riding a motorbike on the beach road. Tee Phan, a Cambodian, was just arriving to collect the children. Police found nothing suspicious on his person; however, four pills of ya bah were found taped under the bike’s passenger footrest. Tee Phan confessed to being the leader and the police charged him with illegal possession of drugs and smuggling of illegal workers into Thailand. If found guilty, he faces three years in prison, followed by deportation. “Tee Phan has been living in Phuket more than a year. He returned from Cambodia with more illegal workers only a week ago,” Capt Adinan told the Gazette.

 

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

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