Royal Thai Police get new ally to tackle traffickers
The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has teamed up with the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to launch a crackdown on a transnational human trafficking network believed to be operating in 11 locations across nine provinces.
The nine provinces are Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Chachoengsao, Tak, Chumphon, Narathiwat, Yala, Phetchabun and Udon Thani.
The crackdown was launched after the RTP’s Women and Children’s Protection and Anti-Human Trafficking Centre and Amlo traced the financial transactions of the network, assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn told a press briefing yesterday at Udon Thani’s provincial police headquarters.
As part of the operation, officials have frozen 27 bank accounts containing more than 650 million baht from both Thai and foreign suspects.
Police also seized case-related assets worth about 25.8 million baht including six houses, seven cars, five motorbikes, 12 air-conditioners, seven refrigerators, seven televisions and two snooker tables.
All items were sent to Map Ammarit police in Chumphon for legal proceedings, Pol Lt Gen Surachate said.
The investigation has been expanded following earlier raids on property and assets of the migrant smugglers in Nakhon Si Thammarat in 2019, as well as in Chumphon and Surat Thani last year.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate said police learnt from a tip-off that these gangs would also ferry groups of migrants onwards from Tak’s Mar Sot district to Malaysia, he said.
On Thursday, police caught 18 Myanmar migrants — 11 men and seven women — in a pickup in Wang Chao district of Tak at about 8pm at a checkpoint at a bridge connected to Tak.
A second sped off, evading police, leaving the first vehicle, driven by a Mr. Prakob, at the checkpoint. Police discovered 17 Myanmar nationals hidden in its modified rear, with another seated next to the driver.
Police learned from Mr. Prakob that a broker, known as Mr Su, contacted him to pick the migrants up via a natural channel near a longan orchard in Wang Chao district and take them to Bangkok for 1,000 baht per head.
A Myanmar man, known only as Mr Kanna, who was among the group hiding in the pickup, told police they had paid the broker 20,000 baht each to cross into Tak province, and another broker was to find them work in Bangkok.