Kata Rocks
Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Phuket child hawking gang busted for human trafficking, child exploitation

Phuket child hawking gang busted for human trafficking, child exploitation

PHUKET: Police have arrested four suspects for operating a criminal child-exploitation operation in Phuket that forced children as young as 10 years old to work all night selling coconut water in bars and restaurants – or face being beaten.

crimetourismpolice
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 10 November 2019, 08:02PM


Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya, Commander of the Royal Thai Police Office of Legal Affairs and Litigation, travelled to Phuket to announce the arrests at a press conference at Patong Police Station this afternoon (Nov 10).

Present for the announcement were Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commanders Col Sermphan Sirikong and Col Chaiwat Uikam, who has previously served as the Patong Police Chief, along with the current Patong Police Chief Col Anotai Jindamanee and Kitti Intharakul, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Social Development and Human Security Office, and Atchara Surakul, head of the Child, Home and the Family Affairs office in Phuket.

Gen Jaruwat named the four suspects arrested as Mr Wanthakan Aramsri, Mrs Khemika Upakarnkaew, Mr Pornthep Upakarnkaew and Mr Vachira Poonchuay.

All four were arrested at their homes in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

All four arrests were made under arrest warrants issued by Phuket Provincial Court yesterday (Nov 9), Gen Jaruwat said.

The operation was brought to officials’ attention when the Phuket Muang District Palad (Chief Administrative Officer) and his deputy on Oct 28 saw children aged 10-13 years old hawking and selling coconut water at a night venue in Phuket’s Muang District, Gen Jaruwat explained

The children were skinny and dressed in rags. The officers asked the children why they did not go to school, and were told that the children were told to sell coconut water.

The children explained that if they didn’t they would be beaten, he said.

The children were taken into protective custody and an investigation into the operation was launched, Gen Jaruwat explained.

The resulting investigation saw a complaint filed at the Damrongdharma Center (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) in Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province and a press conference held accusing the officers for having no right to detain the children and threats to sue the officials involved, he said.

“This became big news, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wonguwan are very interested. They want to clarify the truth and leading officers were sent from Bangkok to carry out the investigation,” Gen Jaruwat explained.

The result was the four suspects being arrested on human trafficking and child exploitation charges against all four suspects.

“At present, the case is in the process of bringing the suspects back to face legal proceedings in Phuket,” he said.

The four suspects collectively face charges of human trafficking acting in conspiracy of three or more people for the purpose of exploitation of child labour of children net yet 15 years old and a separate charge of the same of children over 15 but not yet 18 years of age.

Khemika and Pornthep also face separate child labour exploitation charges.

“This cannot be tolerated. We will prosecute to the end,” Gen Jaruwat said today.

“These children were forced to work more than 10 hours a day, and sometimes they were attacked, slapped and beaten,” he said.

“Some of these children had to carry up to 10 coconuts at a time. They had to make B400 a day, all of which was handed over. If they came back late or were unable to sell, they were punished,” he added.

“Operations such as this can generate hundreds of thousands of baht per month. There is a huge profit from the exploitation of children,” Gen Jaruwat noted.

Gen Jaruwat concluded the press conference with a direct order for local police.

“Child trafficking gangs in Phuket must be eradicated within one to two days. All gangs must be eradicated, with absolute legal action,” he said.

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 11 November 2019 - 08:08:17

" Leading Officers' where sent from Bangkok ????   Why the leading Phuket RTP Colonels/Majors/Captains  not trusted to handle this simple criminal slavery case? Are the Phuket RTP Colonels/Majors/Captains now screened as well on their functional police dignity? This happening is not 'from yesterday'.

Rorri_2 | 11 November 2019 - 06:23:58

If there was ever a justifiably case, for slavery, then this is it... sell the bastard offenders off.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Video shows cameras being removed from shootout gambling den

Oh yeah..."The commissioner said if police had solid evidence that the place operated as a casi...(Read More)


Four Points by Sheraton opens 600-room resort in Patong

Agreed. Horrible timing for such a huge and massive resort to show up on the market. Smaller guestho...(Read More)


More stranded Russians fly home from Phuket

Suvarnabhumi's website reports quite a lot of actual international arrivals and departures, incl...(Read More)


‘Safe and Sealed’ brings hope for tourism revival

another dose of wishful thinking, who on earth would pay twice the price to be herded to third rate ...(Read More)


Dual prices on agenda

SEC2, a electric- and water bill not show or you are Thai or Foreigner. It even can be a bill from ...(Read More)


Search resumes for missing people from sunken ferry

Where is the 3rd lorry, with another 45 tons of garbage blocks ? Were the lorries not secured to th...(Read More)


Patong workers file complaint over unpaid salary, no social security payments

How is this unacceptable employers behaviour possible on Phuket? A shameful situation. Phuket Provin...(Read More)


Dual prices on agenda

When you see the photo., it is plain thick skin racism/discriminatory/ anti foreign tourist. Time fo...(Read More)


Investigation into capsized ferry as 1 confirmed dead, 4 still missing

@BigA, a tanker ship with all tanks secured/closed, has always reserve buoyancy, no matter how littl...(Read More)


More stranded Russians fly home from Phuket

CaptainJack69, normal foreigners still not allowed to fly in. These repatriation flights are probab...(Read More)