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Myanmar man held for forced child labour

A Myanmar man has been arrested over his alleged involvement in human trafficking and forced child labour after he "bought" three Myanmar children from their mothers for Bt1,800 each, police said yesterday.

The police's Anti-Human Trafficking Division yesterday announced the arrest of Maung Myang-U, 22, who allegedly paid the mothers of the three children, all aged under 15, and used them to sell roses to tourists on Bangkok streets.

The suspect, who was arrested at a rented room in Phra Nakhon district on Friday, also reportedly had to pay the Myanmar-based mothers 50,000 kyat (Bt1,800) a month for each child, said division commander Maj-General Kittisak Durongkhawibul. The arrest stemmed from public complaints over the children being forced to sell flowers to foreign tourists in the Khao San Road area, he said.

Police on Friday questioned an eight-year-old boy, who told police that he and his six-year-old sister had been sold to Maung Myang-U by their mother nine months ago.

Maung Myang-U then forced them to sell at least 25 roses at Bt20 each in the Khao San area from 7pm to 2am each day, the boy told police.

The kids didn't get paid if they couldn't meet the sales target and they would get scolded and beaten, the boy said.

Police then went to the suspect's room to arrest him and seized a notebook recording flower sales and rescued a 13-year-old girl there. The man was charged for human trafficking via forced child labour.


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