Sun, June 26, 2022

in-focus

Cops fire back after Parliament criticism on human trafficking


The Royal Thai Police insisted it was working on human trafficking suppression in line with laws on Sunday, after coming under fire during Friday’s special debate in Parliament.

Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyot Thepchamnong issued the statement after opposition MPs highlighted the 2015 Rohingya trafficking case in Songkhla.

The case led to several police and military officers being sentenced for corruption and trafficking after the bodies of over 30 trafficked Rohingya were discovered in shallow graves on the southern border.

On Saturday, the senior police officer who led the investigation said threats from influential people forced him to flee to Australia before he could catch more “big fish” in the case.

Police spokesman Yingyot said the Rohingya trafficking case was considered an offence outside the Kingdom under Section 20 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

He said that the attorney general had set up an investigation team of police officers and attorneys before deciding to charge suspects with human trafficking, transnational crime, and other offences.

"The investigation team had asked the court to issue arrest warrants against 155 suspects, of whom 120 were arrested, two eventually died and 33 are still missing," he said.

He added that the Criminal and Appeal Courts had ordered the detention of many suspects, whose cases are currently under the Supreme Court's consideration.

Yingyot said the police force was working on a human trafficking suppression policy under the supervision of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and National Police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk.

He said police had prosecuted 182 cases in 2021 and 11 cases in 2022, adding that people who had evidence of human trafficking should contact a police station or ring 191 or 1599 anytime.

Last year, Thailand was downgraded to the Tier 2 Watchlist in the US Trafficking in Persons Report.

Published : February 20, 2022

By : THE NATION