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No trafficking victims in Phuket, says report

After months of research, the Human Trafficking Crime Prevention and Suppression Centre delivered its report this week with the stunning revelation that the task force found not a single case of human trafficking on the island.

The results of the months-long investigations by the centre, which is tasked with investigating all aspects of human trafficking in Phuket, were delivered to Vice Governor Punlop Singhasenee at a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall on Tuesday (Sept 22).

no trafficking victims in Phuket“Migrant workers, beggars, prostitutes and Rohingya are the target groups of the investigation, which is still ongoing, as they have a high risk of being trafficked,” explained V/Gov Punlop.

“As such, officials have conducted many raids within the fishing industry and on entertainment venues to crack down on this issue,” he added.

According to the report, from May 6 to September 17, officials investigated 271 fishing boats in Phuket. The officers searched and questioned the 3,564 fishing crew – 706 Thai, 2,757 Myanmar, 10 Laos, 56 Cambodian and 35 others – about human trafficking.

Officers also investigated 582 local businesses, 45 migrant-worker camps questioned and investigated 39,373 workers.

Of all these there were no reports of child labour or labour abuse, said the report.

From January 1-September 18, officials also investigated beggars and homeless people, with outings every three days with special focus on tourist areas, beaches, markets and local fairs.

They found 51 beggars, of whom 38 were Thai and 13 were foreigners.

Officials also checked 598 workers employed to work at roadside stalls, which are famed for illegal migrant workers, but all those checked had work permits, said the report.

The intrepid researchers also investigated 95 “service businesses” for prostitution, but “no illegal activity found”, said the report.

Phuket News

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