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Crackdown on forced begging and child labour

Written By vibykhmer on Monday, August 31, 2009 | 5:56 AM

Pattaya, Friday 29th August,[PDN]: Tourist Police Break a human trafficking gang; - A nest of Cambodian children being forced into begging, but gang members managed to escape.

At 09:00 pm on 28th August, Police Lieutenant Colonel Suwan Aun-Anan of the Pattaya Tourist Police with his team of 20-officers, were patrolling the nightlife area and managed to arrest a group of 25-Cambodian mothers, [aged 30-40 years] and their children [between 3-5 years old].

The poor mothers and their children confessed that they were beggars and that they worked for five Thai men, who had been forcing them to beg at many various points in the Pattaya area. The men had taken them by motor bikes to different area, and at each stop had sometimes left a mother and her child. However, in some areas they had left only a poor young child to sit alone, in order for them to get more sympathy.

Every 3-4 hours, the Thai men had come back to pick up the money that was earned, and the poor mothers and their children were given only 100-baht each day, out of 400-500 baht they had normally made.

After receiving initial information, the police team raided a row of houses on Pattaya’s North (Naklua) Road, (Moo 5), that the Thai human trafficking gang had rented out as accommodation for their beggars.

At these houses, police found another 16-Khmer beggars, and none of the Cambodian forced beggars had any legal documentation to access the Kingdom of Thailand. They had sneaked in through the Chanthaburi and Sa-Kaew borders, and they claimed that after this, they were trickily persuaded to work in Pattaya by the Thai men.

The Pattaya Tourist Police inspector, Lt. Col. Suwan, revealed that his police team had been watching the criminal gang for quite some time. The police had a collection of photos and videos of the gang’s operations, but at the time of the arrests, the gang members had managed to escape.

However, the police already have their details, with enough evidence to bring them to justice. The Cambodian mothers and children will be prosecuted and deported back to their own country. Everyone is appalled that poor young children, who cannot defend themselves, should be treated in such a callous manner, and our police are to be applauded for stamping out such disgraceful criminal activities.


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