Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations

NEWS ALERTS

Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here

RSS FEEDS

Wanted fugitive in a RUN shirt: the man police believe is a mass kidnapper

Mass Kidnap Suspect Caught: Number of Boatpeople Grows North of Phuket

Monday, October 13, 2014
Phuketwan LIVE Report

from the Takuapa municipal community hall, where a large number of boatpeople are being held and cared for - victims of kidnappers.

9pm UPDATE Local community officials and a lone policeman were processing more boatpeople into the night, interviewing them one by one at Takuapa, north of Phuket.

Of the 72 boatpeople rescued earlier today, only one said he was a Rohingya. The rest are all Bangladeshis. Seven more bedraggled boatpeople were added to the 125 already in custody.

The Bangladeshi embassy will need to charter a flight to help all the kidnap victims reach home.

A man in a RUN BKK shirt was captured, the third Thai accused of human trafficking over the growing number of victims that may now include passengers from a second boat.

TAKUAPA: Thailand's Department of Special Investigation has been called in to hunt the man pictured above - the alleged local human trafficker who could be held responsible for a mass kidnapping and two drownings.

The scene inside the community hall, in the town of Takuapa, north of Phuket, represents the new spirit of Thailand's opposition to human trafficking.

More than 120 boatpeople are on the floor, separated into the 53 who were apprehended at the weekend and another 72 who were rescued from a plantation camp earlier today.

For the first time, Thailand has a large number of boatpeople who have been officially classified as human trafficking victims, thanks to the combined activism of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists who determined at the weekend to process the necessary documentation themselves.

Local Andaman Sea coast police in the past had been too quick to classify boatloads of newly-arrived Rohingya as illegal immigrants. That meant fewer problems.

Commitment to beating human trafficking in Thailand seems to have arrived with the realisation that the problem is growing and will get far worse unless there is serious action to stop the industry from functioning.

The tragic circumstances of the latest arrivals reveal that Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and ordinary Bangladeshi citizens are now being kidnapped because demand for slave labor is so great.

It's not possible to say with certainty that the kidnap victims were destined for fishing boats, but everything points to that being the likely aim.

Today the second group of boatpeople were ordered by the traffickers to swim from one island to another, to escape the authorities. Two of them are now missing, feared drowned.

Four other boatpeople have been admitted to a local hospital and are being treated for malnutrition. The men were left in the jungle for three days without food after a five day trip by sea from Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh, with little to eat.

A dramatic moment came yesterday afternoon when, after an hour of rejecting the application by the activists to have the kidnapped boatpeople declared human traficking victims, the Takuapa police superintendent relented and accepted the case and the documentation provided by the local community.

The boatpeople, who had walked the short distance from the community hall to the police station, expecting to spend the rest of their time in Thailand in cells, walked back to the community hall.

There, boatpeople, activists and journalists embraced and shed tears at the release from their fears.

Today, more than 30 nurses, doctors and local officials were caring for both groups of boatpeople in the Takuapa community hall. The word is spreading.

Suddenly, the reaction is positive and against the bad guys in a region where for too long, human trafficking has been tolerated.

Fears are still held for the three women and seven children among the 310 people on the boat from Bangladesh.

With 125 now safe, authorities are hoping the local trafficking fugitive will be able to explain what has happened to the 185 passengers from the boat, with many more kidnap victims probably among them.

Two Thais are already in custody, accused of being part of the human trafficking ring.

With the horrifying trade in people stretching from Bangladesh and Burma through Thailand to Malaysia, there is much more yet to be fully exposed.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

gravatar

The kid of man on the pic is just senior operational staff

There are should more senior figures involved in organizing, supervising , coordinating, and yes, profiting , out of the trafficking enterprise.

And to move hundreds of people into the country, even by sea.... How it is possible?
Yes, yes, you're asking right questions here.....

Posted by Sue on October 13, 2014 16:32

gravatar

Yeah he really looks like the kingpin, mastermind and financier of this huge people smuggling organization, give me a break please Thailand's authorities, enough is enough, it really is time to become accountable and responsible on the world stage of which you are a part of.

Posted by coxo on October 13, 2014 16:57

gravatar

We really applaude kind hearted local multi-Religious people and authority of Thailand for the rescue of kidnapped and genocide scapee Roingya from traffickers. We also thanked to Pukhetwan journaists for their continue newsing first hand report to the world. We also mourn for death and drowned people who were forced to jump in the sea by geedy traffickers. We thanked to the visiting Thai people ,journalists ,medical teams and Thai authrities with helping hands to the Rohingyas.

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President of Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) on October 13, 2014 17:22

gravatar

Feel extremely sorry for these people. Is there a way that I can help. Please let me know Ed.

Posted by BeingHum@n on October 13, 2014 17:35

gravatar

I was laughing, almost falling of my chair. The guy in a RUN shirt a mass kidnapper???? Give me a break about the 'thinking' of the thai police! There are now dozens of boatpeople who can tell the police that guy is just 'instrumental', a simple helper who gets a bonus for every boatpeople person brought in and sold.

Posted by Kurt on October 13, 2014 18:39


Tuesday June 25, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

FOLLOW PHUKETWAN

Facebook Twitter