THE PAVILIONS PHUKET EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Thai kingpin get 35 years for Rohingya trafficking

BANGKOK: A Thai man accused of masterminding the smuggling and trafficking of Rohingya migrants fleeing Myanmar has been jailed for 35 years, a court today (Sept 1).

immigrationMyanmarreligioncorruptioncrimetransportpolicemilitary
By AFP

Thursday 1 September 2016, 04:50PM


Migrants who were found at sea on a boat stand in line as they are repatriated across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Rakhine in June 2015. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Migrants who were found at sea on a boat stand in line as they are repatriated across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Rakhine in June 2015. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Southern Thailand has long been known as a nexus for lucrative smuggling networks through which persecuted Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, and Bangladeshi economic migrants, pass on their way to Malaysia.

For years Thailand turned a blind eye to – and was even complicit in – the well-worn trafficking trade in the deep south.

Last year, Thailand’s junta launched a belated crackdown, a move that led smugglers to abandoned hundreds of victims on boats and in squalid jungle camps, but also brought much of the trade to a halt.

Yesterday (Aug 31) Sunand Saengthong, an alleged trafficking kingpin, was jailed for overseeing smuggling networks.

“Overall he was sentenced to 35 years and fined B660,000,” a spokesman at Pak Phanang Provincial Court said.

Two other accomplices were sentenced to one year and six months in jail respectively.

Police arrested Sunand after a raid in January last year that uncovered 97 Rohingya, the court said in a statement.

“Witness testimonies in court found that money from the human trafficking gang was transferred to Sunand’s bank account,” the statement said, adding that he was “a mastermind of Rohingya trafficking” in the south.

QSI International School Phuket

The Asian Human Rights Commission, which has followed the prosecution, said police searched five vehicles during their raid and discovered desperate migrants crammed in so tight that some had suffocated to death. More than 40 of those Rohingya were minors.

Around one million Rohingya live in western Rakhine state, where they are forced to live in apartheid-like conditions and are denied citizenship.

For years they have fled their homeland by sea, looking for work in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Most victims crossed the sea in rickety boats to be held in remote jungle camps where they were beaten, raped and abused until relatives paid release ransoms. They would then be moved to Malaysia.

Thailand’s image has been battered in recent years by a series of human trafficking scandals – including in its lucrative fishing and food production sectors.

The kingdom’s junta have vowed to clean up the country’s image.

Last year’s crackdown on southern smuggling routes saw more than 100 alleged traffickers arrested – including a senior army general. He and most of those detained are currently being tried in Bangkok.

 

 

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.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Major power blackout to affect Karon

Understand that now and than at different Phuket areas high voltage cables have to be renewed. But I...(Read More)


Thai man, 30, dies in Phuket motorbike crash

Test drive at dark hours on Phuket ill lighted roads. Speed is your winner,... to heaven. Lucky no...(Read More)


Weapons, ammunition found in vehicle of man shot dead by Phuket police

Either very poor reporting, we see a lot of it, or something wrong here, first report does not menti...(Read More)


Govt to splash B151mn to prevent Phuket road flooding

Nonsense and jibberish. This is just the next mega budget burner. The governor laments the lack of u...(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

Best Insp Kurt doesn't get chased by the cops in America- he'll be in for a nasty shot!...(Read More)


Govt to splash B151mn to prevent Phuket road flooding

Ahh- so it's all about 'image' then. No mention about addressing the root causes of thi...(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

From the Bangkok Post, "...was shot dead after he opened fire at arresting police after a chase...(Read More)


Phuket mops up after storm lashes island, plunges businesses into darkness

Good lord. Now complaining about media coverage. Unbelievable. If their are complaints about reporte...(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

Yep...i see at least 12 bullets impacts at the car ? Maybe i cant counting or it seems 2 weapons inv...(Read More)


Weapons, ammunition found in vehicle of man shot dead by Phuket police

Well done police...one more lawless social menace off the streets for good....(Read More)


 

Melbourne Cup 2018