Monday, July 27, 2015

72 indicted on human trafficking charges in Thailand

72 indicted on human trafficking charges in Thailand.Picture: Getty Images

Seventy-two people, including an army general, were Friday indicted in Thailand on human trafficking charges.

According to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the suspects were involved in a ring that smuggled Rohingya refugees from Myanmar through Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia.

“The investigation shows this is a big network that had a system for transporting people through the country,” said Wanchai Roujanavong, an OAG spokesman, at a press conference.

“The OAG are treating this case very seriously.”

Among those indicted by the OAG are Army General Manas Kongpaen, four policemen and powerful local politicians who Wanchai say will also be charged with negligence of duty.

The network came to light last month after investigators discovered mass graves of Rohingya refugees at a trafficking camp in southern Thailand.

The ensuing outcry led the government to crack down on human trafficking networks, sparking a humanitarian crisis with thousands of migrants being stranded in boats off Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Rohingya say they suffer discrimination in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, which does not recognize them as one of the country’s official ethnic groups, and considers them illegal Bengali immigrants.

The OAG say that as many as 30 more suspects are still at large.


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