Owner of Burmese “death truck’ in custody

RANONG: The owner of the truck in which 54 Burmese, including an eight-year-old girl, died on Wednesday from suffocation while being smuggled from Ranong to Phuket presented himself today to police for questioning, Col Kraithong Chanthongbai, Superintendent of Suksamran District Police, told the Gazette.

The truck owner, who has been named as Damrong Phussadee, of Rungruengsup Limited Partnership, is now in police custody, Col Kraithong confirmed.

However, he added that police are are still searching for the driver, who has been named as Suchon Bunplong.

Col Kraithong said that the incident, which has sparked international furore over Thailand’s treatment of illegal immigrants, provided a good opportunity to expose human-trafficking rings.

“It’s a good chance to start making progress into finding out who is behind this, but I think it will take a long time to close the case,” he said, alluding to the high level of development of the system for smuggling migrant laborers into Thailand from Burma.

Col Kraithong added that the Burmese who survived the ordeal were presented to the court to face charges of entering the country illegally. “The court has yet to hand down its decision in this case,” he said.

“They said they wanted to go to Phuket. I think they wanted to work in the construction industry or as maids.

“One of the dead was an eight-year-old girl. She and the others will be buried in Ranong Cemetery,” he said.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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