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Thai Police Chief Benches 50 Police Officers Over Human Trafficking



Chiang Rai Times

Thailand’s national police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung, second from left, holds a pistol seized from one of the three suspects believed to be involved in the human trafficking network after mass graves were discovered on May 1, during a press conference in Hat Yai, Songkhla province,


BANGKOK – Royal Thai Police Chief Police General Somyos Pumpanmuang will will be transferring 50 police officers believed to have been involved in the trafficking of Rohingyas to the Royal Thai Police Operations Center , while the investigation is still underway.

General Somyos Pumpanmuang, said new police officers will be appointed to fill those vacancies, while the 50 officers in question will remain at the Police Operations Center for the duration of the investigation.

Some of those suspected of accommodating human trafficking included high-ranking police officers, such as superintendents and sub-inspectors.

Other officers held positions in immigration, anti-human trafficking and marine police divisions.

Some Thai officials say human trafficking has been allowed to flourish for years amid indifference and, sometimes, complicity by Thai authorities and that they are only acting now due to international attention.

Embarrassed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has ordered a clean up of suspected human trafficking camps around the country within 10 days, while UN officials have called for a National effort to end the human trafficking trade.

Thai police have arrested four low level traffickers – three Thais and a Myanmar national – on suspicion of human trafficking and arrest warrants have been issued for only four other suspects.

The Secretary-General of the National Security Council Anusit Khunakorn said ending illegal migration of Rohingya to Thailand must be done with a balance of national security and human rights as illegal migrants fleeing to the country were not only the Rohingya people.
Meanwhile in further efforts to save face the National News Bureau of Thailand reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Ministry doesn’t believe the discovery of Rohingya mass graves in Songklha will affect Thailand’s ranking on the U.S. human trafficking watch list.
Thousands of illegal migrants, including Rohinghya Muslims from western Myanmar and from Bangladesh, brave dangerous journeys by sea and land to eescape religious and ethnic persecution and in search of work abroad.

They are often trafficked through Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, and taken into the country’s jungles, where traffickers demand ransoms to release them or smuggle them across the border to mainly Muslim Malaysia.

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