Human trafficking gang arrested

By Jessada Jantarak for The Nation on 30 December 2017,

IMMIGRATION police have rescued 30 Ugandans from a human-trafficking gang in one of the bureau’s biggest operations of the final quarter of the year.

The bureau’s chief Pol Lt-General Suttipong Wongpin said yesterday that all victims were female Ugandans who had suffered at the hands of fellow Ugandans and identified Belinda Namuli and Moses Musoki as suspected human traffickers.

“Our investigations allowed us to track down Namuli. She lived at a condominium in Bangkok’s Klong Tan area,” he said.

He said that after Namuli was arrested, immigration police found and arrested Musoki before rescuing the victims.

According to Suttipong, his bureau also arrested Nareerat Mudkhuntod and Rattanaporn Jamsai for allegedly luring Thai women into prostitution in Oman.

“Their victims were promised jobs as masseuses but once they arrived in Oman, they were forced into the flesh trade,” Suttipong said.

He said those who refused to carry out sex services were warned they would have to pay millions of baht to cover the expenses already incurred in getting them to Oman.

Suttipong said in a separate case an Indian national, Agarwal Prashant, had been arrested for taking a bag accidentally left behind by another air passenger in Suvarnabhumi Airport’s baggage x-ray zone.

Prashant was charged with theft after being caught red-handed carrying the bag that contained cash and credit cards belonging to the victim.

According to Suttipong, more than 35 million foreigners visited Thailand this year, with Chinese the biggest group of foreign visitors followed by Malaysians, South Koreans, Indians, Japanese and Russians.

Of these, 1,867 had overstayed, Suttipong said, and Chinese visitors once again the topped the list, followed by Indians, Vietnamese, Pakistanis and Nigerians.

During the past year, more than 28,000 foreigners were arrested for violating Thai laws and between October 1 and December 15, immigration police had refused entry to 1,760 foreigners.