Nineteen Myanmar nationals rescued from traffickers in Thailand
A total of 19 Myanmar nationals have been rescued from human traffickers off the coast of Thailand’s southern Pattani district, which borders Malaysia to the south, on 10 July in a joint operation between Thai police and the Myanmar Association in Thailand (MAT).
The Myanmar nationals all originated from Mon State’s Thanbyuzayat Township, being human trafficked via Dawei and Kawthaung in Tanintharyi Region to fishing vessels that ply coastal waters of Pattani district, according to MAT.
A 30-year-old woman who is believed to be the broker for the trafficking in persons is also arrested in the raid.
Among the victims, one is a 13-year-old boy from Thanbyuzayat, Mon State.
“The cases of human trafficking involving Myanmar nationals are happening at jetties in Thailand. So, the government of Myanmar should start to draw a project to save victims of human trafficking,” said U Kyaw Thaung, a member of the board of directors of MAT.
According to MAT, local anti-trafficking in persons unit in Thanbyuzayat Township informed the MAT that local people in Thanbyuzayat were lured to Thailand by a suspect by prospect of jobs.
“The brokers lied to them, telling them they were to be taken Bangkok before taking them to the port, where they were locked up. They were forbidden from going outside. Some of the adolescents managed to make contact with their families and ask them for help. We then received a call from Myanmar police requesting our assistance with the matter. We then joined forces with Thai police to free them from potential slavery,” explained Ko Sai Aye from MAT.
The 19 victims of human trafficking ranged in age from 19 to 35 years and have reportedly been temporarily held in Pattani police station.
“The broker came to collect me from my house. When I asked what work I’d be doing, he replied that it would be in a factory. They said I’d receive THB8,500 as well as food and board. It was with these promises that we followed the broker,” said Ko Aye Chan, one of the human trafficking victims from Thanbyuzayat Township.
The MAT has reportedly recused 8,000 victims from human traffickers over their 12 years.—Soe Win with Myitmakha News Agency