The Nation

8 kids rescued from Burmese suspects

Police raided a rented room in Chiang Mai's Muang district yesterday morning and rescued eight children aged 3-14 from three Burmese human-trafficking suspects, who reportedly forced the kids to beg |on the street and assaulted those |failing to meet a daily target of Bt500.

Provincial Police Region chief Pol Lt-General Chaiya Siriampankul said police also arrested a Burmese man Tin Win, 57, and two Burmese women Chuay Ji, 54, and Ma Cho, 47. Previously, two girls, aged 14 and 16, were assaulted but escaped to |tell police that they and other kids were forced to beg and the two had also been molested by the gang leader. The three suspects said they had lived in Thailand for three years and claimed the kids were their relatives, were begging voluntarily, and they just helped by sending the kids to Waroros Market, Night Bazaar and high-traffic areas. Chaiya said the gang allegedly lured or stole kids from Karen or Burmese families living on the opposite side of Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district. Taking the kids to live in Chiang Mai, they taught them to speak Thai and beg for money, before dressing them in rags and sending them off to street sites. If any child did not meet the target of Bt500 per day, they would be beaten while Tin Win allegedly sexually harassed the girls, he added. Police would hunt for their accomplices and rescue 10 other kids who were taken out of the room before the raid, he said. The three suspects face human trafficking, illegal entry charges while Tin Win faced the additional charge of molesting minors under 15.

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