A TEAM of top police officers led raids on six locations in three provinces to crush human trafficking gangs that send their victims to “hell fishing boats” where they are forced to work like slaves and beaten if they refuse to take drugs, Naewna newspaper said this morning (May 5).
Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Roy Ingkapairote accompanied by two assistant police chiefs, Pol. Lt. Gen. Torsak Sukvimol and Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachet Hakpan, as well as Central Investigation Bureau chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Jiraphop Bhuridej and head of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division Pol. Maj. Gen. Wiwat Khamchmnarni led the police teams in mounting these raids in Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Chanthaburi provinces.
This operation arose from Malaysia having on September 3, 2021 sent back 44 Thai workers with three of them being victims of human trafficking forced to work on fishing boats.
Investigation from that point onwards discovered there is a well-entrenched human trafficking network with the starting point being recruiters luring provincial men travelling by train to Bangkok to look for a job.
The victims are offered well-paid jobs but instead are taken to Samut Sakhon province where fishing boat owners pay the recruiters 50,000 baht commission per worker.
The fishing boat owners then sail into the Gulf of Thailand after that surreptitiously into Malaysian waters. Once there these human trafficking victims are forced by the boat captain to work extremely hard with not more than four-hour break a day, They are forced to consume drugs so that they become addicted and easier to control.
Those who disobey orders are badly beaten up.
As these are clearly acts of human trafficking evidence is being gathered to ask the court to issue arrest warrants for those involved.
In mounting this crackdown a Command and Control Operations Centre was set up to coordinate the raids.
A press conference is being held this afternoon to give further details of this operation.
Senior police officers raiding some places in three provinces that human trafficking gangs used to send victims to “hell fishing boats.” Photos: Naewna