Chiangrai Times – John Alty from Scotland has been suspected of running an international human trafficking racket has been deported from Thailand. John Alty, 57, is believed to have masterminded the smuggling of Sri Lankans and Iranians into Australia and New Zealand.
The convicted drug trafficker was arrested in May by Thai police acting on information passed to them by the UK Border Agency.
He returned to Britain on the weekend after being held in a notorious Bangkok detention center for the last two months.
Alty, from Glasgow, had been running a guest house called the Squealing Pig.
The father of two moved to Thailand several years ago and immersed himself in the country’s lucrative sex industry.
He once claimed on a website that Thai prostitutes found their work “fun” and “loved the life”.
He added: “You can take the girl out of the bar … but you can’t take the bar out of the girl..!”
Alty – who changed his name from John Cumming in 1993 – was escorted to the airport from the infamous Bangkok Detention Centre by police.
He was arrested at his guest house after UKBA officials told Thai police they suspected he was involved in people smuggling.
The UKBA asked Thailand’s immigration authorities to consider “the suitability of Alty to remain in Thailand”.
They added: “Alty is currently suspected of involvement in the smuggling of Sri Lankan and Iranian nationalities into Australia and New Zealand. On several occasions, people of these nationalities seeking entry to Australia and New Zealand have attempted to travel on passports in the name of Alty.”
The UKBA requested that their information “remain confidential and not be released to a third party or the media”.
But details were trumpeted at a press conference in Bangkok where immigration police said Alty was “a danger to society” and was being deported.
Alty is believed to have initially wanted to fight his case and remain in Thailand.
But sources say he quickly changed his mind after another Briton was found dead in solitary confinement in the same detention centre.
Richard Cook, 28, had been arrested and was awaiting deportation in connection with a raid on a Bangkok boiler room – an illegal share-trading centre.
He was put in solitary after shouting at the guards and is reported to have died from head injuries – which the authorities said were self-inflicted.
Alty was previously deported from Australia back to Britain in 2007 after serving two years in jail for drugs trafficking.
He had been arrested at Melbourne airport in 2005 with two bottles of cognac – which were found to contain two kilos of methamphetamine with a 36.5 per cent purity.
His lawyer, Theo Kassimatis, called the crime “stupid, opportunistic and out of character”.
It is not clear whether Alty will be arrested on his return to the UK. He is the 13th Briton to have been sent home in the last 18 months by voluntary deportation or extradition.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency, working on information from a number of British police forces, have successfully sought extradition for a number of child sexual abusers.
The most recent case was that of Paul Smithers, from Bridgend in Glamorgan – one of Wales’s most wanted men.
He was escorted back to Britain by Welsh police and sentenced to 12 years at Cardiff Crown Court for child rape and assault.
Smithers, 59, had been on the run in Thailand and Bali for 10 years.
A UKBA spokeswoman said last night: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”
Hub of trade in misery
Trafficking in people has been branded a crime against humanity by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
It is defined as recruiting, trans-porting, harbouring or receiving a person by force or coercion for the purpose of exploiting them.
Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers at home and abroad.
Thailand is known to be a major human trafficking hub.
Many women and young girls are exploited in the country’s massive sex industry or transported to other parts of the world as sex slaves.