Human-trafficking gang caught

Police arrested five Myanmar nationals in Bangkok on Saturday for allegedly forcing three compatriots to labour on fishing boats.

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The four men and one woman were arrested at a room in Samae Dam sub-district of Bang Khunthian district, said Pol Maj Gen Kittisak Durongkhawibul, commander of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division.

They were identified as Aung Ya, 30, Jo, 44, Aung Niang, 29, Ken, 46, and Mrs Ma Shan, 45.

Pol Maj Gen Kittisak said the arrests followed the filing of a complaint by one of the labourers, known as Plai, with help from an organisation for Myanmar residents in Thailand.

Mr Plai, 18, said the five had persuaded him and two friends identified as Hui Aung, 20, and Takului, 19, to work at a bread factory in Maha Chai sub-district of Samut Sakhon province.

It turned out later that Mr Hui Aung and Mr Takului were forced to board a fishing boat in Prachuap Khiri Khan province and Mr Plai was detained to wait for another fishing boat.

Mr Plai said he escaped and his two friends phoned him from their boat to ask for help. The two other men were rescued from their boat Saturday morning.

Pol Col Panya Pinsuk, deputy commander of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, said the suspects confessed that employers paid them 10,000 baht for each person they supplied. They said they targeted compatriots who were illegal immigrants because it was easy to lure them.

The five were charged with human trafficking, detention, coercion, abduction and deception.

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