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Phuket Immigration Officers Nab Human Trafficker Trying to Flee

Monday, September 17, 2012
PHUKET: Immigration officers at Phuket International Airport have combined with Anti-Human Trafficking police from Bangkok to nab a woman wanted for luring victims into prostitution in Bahrain.

Natthakan Yarana, 27, whose name was on a black list of wanted people, was arrested at Phuket airport at 2am on Saturday morning.

She was briefly held at Tachatchai Police Station in northern Phuket and has now been transferred back to Bangkok.

Last month, police in Bahrain helped to release 11 Thai women who were lured into prostitution and held captive against their will in the city of Manama.

One of the victims escaped and informed Thai embassy oficials in Bahrain.

Embassy counsellor Witchu Vejjajiva told the Gulf Daily News: ''We recently rescued 10 women who were forced into prostitution and the case is being investigated by the Bahrain police.''

He added an international trafficking network was tricking Thai girls into prostitution in Bahrain and warned the trend appeared to be on the rise.

''We have noticed that this trend is increasing this year, which was not the case last year as many tourists did not visit Bahrain because of the political unrest,'' Mr Vejjajiva said.

''But now, when the economy is back on track, we are faced with this problem.

''It should be noted that it's not only Thai women who are into prostitution. Other nationalities are also there and we have heard from the victims who are being forced into prostitution.''

Activist Paweena Hongsakul told the Pattaya Daily News that more than 200 Thai women have been jailed in Bahrain since the start of the year for prostitution.

Mr Vejjajiva said there were several factors that fuelled the sex trade, including the poor backgrounds of many of the women.

''There is a clear demand and supply factor when it comes to this crime pattern,'' he said.

''We should also understand the economic situation of these women. Most of them come from poor backgrounds and from different parts of Thailand.''

He added the embassy encouraged victims of trafficking to report their abusers to the authorities, but many were too scared to do so.

''In some cases, we advise victims to report the crime to the police, but they are scared and avoid lodging any complaint,'' explained Mr Vejjajiva.

The embassy has also forwarded a list of recommendations to Thai authorities to help combat human trafficking.

''We distributed pamphlets to raise awareness among our 2000-plus Thai community in Bahrain,'' Mr Vejjajiva added.

''But now with the increasing crimes, this is a big problem for us. We intend to send out an advisory to all our nationals in Bahrain every month.

''If they need help they should approach the embassy immediately and we will take up their cases.''

The women, who have returend to Thailand, told police that Benjawan Promma, 37, who is still at large, lured them to Bahrain with the promise of work, but locked them up in a room when they arrived.

Another woman known as Pat is still believed to be in Bahrain.

Comments

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After drug dealers human trafficers are IMO the lowest of all criminals.

Many people genuinely aspire for a better future and wish to help their families by working abroad. They are usually poor and uneducated and thus easy prey.

Not everyone is a victim though, there is a large number of women of all nationalities who willingly ply the red light trade but I'm glad one trafficer has been caught.

I wish the governments in SE Asian countries would provide free and unbiased advice and help in getting employed abroad.

It is estimated that 8 to 10 million Filipinos work abroad, which amounts to 10% of the total population. The money they send back is a huge contribution to Philippine economy.

From what I know from countries like Philippines, Laos and Cambodia, the agencies there are privately run and charge huge fees, often landing the workers in debt for years.

Thais have plenty to improve in their treatment of Burmese, Laotians and Cambodians so there's just as much work to do at home to protect the vulnerable immigrant workers as there is to protect Thais abroad.

50 dead Burmese in the back of a truck in Thailand and nobody really cared much. Imagine if 50 Thais would die abroad in similar circumstances what the reaction here would be.

Treat people the way you want them to treat you.

Posted by Andrew on September 17, 2012 12:56

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i know a (normal) massage girl who moved to Bahrain last year to work. do i need to be worried that she got locked up in a room?

Posted by fodat on September 17, 2012 14:09


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