Phuket investors implicated in human trafficking bust

MAE HONG SON (The Nation): Twenty long-neck Karen women (Paduang) arrested while crossing the Thai-Burmese border on Wednesday night allegedly were to be sold to a group of Phuket investors for 10 million baht, police said on Thursday.

Mae Hong Son Provincial Governor Direk Konkleeb urged officers to extend the investigation to arrest those behind the alleged human trafficking.

One of the women, identified only as “Som-O”, told police that they had come from Doi Kor province’s Ti Mo So District in Burma to stay with Karen residents in Mae Hong Son’s Huai Pukaeng Village.

Som-O said she had been living in Huai Pukaeng for a long time and had heard that the Karen at Ti Mo So lived in harsh conditions, so she invited them to cross the border with her to live in Thailand.

The woman appeared to be very stressed, so police placed her under close watch to prevent her from committing suicide.

Another Paduang told police that Som-O early last year had married a Bangkok businessman – although he was allegedly already married to a Thai woman – and had built a resort in Baan Huai Deu to support Som-O’s relatives.

The woman added that the businessman wanted 20 Padaung from Ti Mo So to be sold to a group of Phuket investors for 10 million baht.

The Padaung, currently being held for further questioning at Mae Hong Son’s Muang District Police Station, were to be handed to Immigration police for deportation.

Phuket News

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