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Police Allege Politician’s Son the Ringleader of Child Sex Trafficking Ring

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Anti-Human Trafficking Police yesterday arrested one more trafficker as their investigation into a child sex trafficking ring continues in Southern Thailand.

On Wednesday, Anti-Human Trafficking police raided 18 locations across the southern province linked to a child sex trafficking ring.

The case has since implicated a number of officials, including Phisit Poonpipat, deputy director-general of the Department of Children and Youth (DCY) of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS), as well as soldiers, teachers, and doctors in the area.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, assistant chief of the national police, said during a visit to the province to investigate the allegations that the suspected child sex trafficker is a mechanic and the alleged ringleader is the son of a well-known politician and expected to turn himself in according to his father.

Read: Children and Youth Director Indicted for Child Sex Trafficking

According to Gen Surachate, the deputy director-general of the MSDHS is being charged with complicity in the crime as well as for attempting to coerce the administrators of a children’s home into disposing of evidence that implicated him in the alleged abuse.

The police are looking for two more suspects – a woman said to have helped procure the children for the ring, and the son of a widely-known politician. The two are currently on the run, although Anti-Human Trafficking Police believe they are closing in on the pair.

Ten trafficking suspects who were arrested earlier this week have been granted bail set at 200,000 baht per person. One of them was the deputy chairman of the tambon administrative organization’s council of Phunphin district, who has since resigned.

According to Pol Lt Gen Surachate, the shelter director has confirmed there has been interference [obstructing the investigation], and the victims have been threatened and assaulted to remain silent.

All the child sex trafficking victims are now in witness protection with their parents and are providing information to Anti-Human Trafficking Police investigators.

Meanwhile, The country’s top anti-trafficking cop has pledged to increase training for police nationwide in order to deal with an increasing number of cases of sexual exploitation and forced labor outside Bangkok.

The director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Center under the Royal Thai Police, lieutenant general Jaruvat Vaisaya, said Thailand was short on officers who are experts in investigating cases of human trafficking outside the capital.

More than 100 of Thailand’s anti-trafficking officers are based in Bangkok. Thailand has 1,640 anti-trafficking professionals in total.

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