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Police Arrest Suspected Human Traffickers Targeting Rural Thais

Police have arrested two suspected human traffickers who allegedly coerced more than 100 Thais into working under slavish conditions on fishing boats in Indonesian waters.

rural human trafficingThe director of Thailand’s Division of Special Investigation (DSI), Suwana Suwanchutha, announced at a press conference today that two suspected traffickers have been arrested, with a third on the run.

Eight victims filed formal complaints to police, leading to the arrests, she said.

Pol.Col. Paisit Sangkahapong, the director of the DSI’s department on suppressing human trafficking, said the suspects targeted Thais who originally hail from rural provinces, approaching them in Bangkok’s major transportation hubs, such as Mo Chit Bus Terminal and Hua Lamphong Central Rail Station, with fake job offers.

“They befriend the victims and lie about well-paying jobs at factories and other places,” Pol.Col. Paisit explained. “In some cases, the perpetrators admit that the jobs are on fishing boats, but they lie that the jobs will be only short term, and that the pay is good.”

In reality, the victims are locked up in buildings in coastal provinces and later forced to work on fishing boats, he said.

“They have to work for many years. They cannot go home. They receive very little pay. They are intimidated, sometimes beaten,” said Pol.Col. Paisit, noting that some of the victims are younger than 18.

Pol.Col. Paisit also told reporters that the traffickers sometimes traveled directly to rural communities in Thailand, especially in the northeast, to dupe villagers into working on the boats.

The two suspects have been charged with human trafficking and illegal detention, he said.

Full Story -Khaosod English

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