Kidnapping is now a major new scourge.
Most of the scores of survivors now being processed north of Phuket are not minority Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution but everyday citizens of Bangladesh, seized and taken from near their homes by gangs with links to human traffickers extending south through Thailand to Malaysia.
Some of the men now being classified as human trafficking victims are not even Muslim, but Hindus, with families back in Bangladesh wondering where they have gone and whether they are still alive.
The local community around the Andaman coastal town of Takuapa has taken action over boatpeople into their own hands and made the point in no uncertain terms that the human trafficking industry is thriving in Thailand, no matter what government pronouncements say.
Since Phuketwan revealed the inhumane pushbacks of boats from Thailand in 2009, traffickers have grown their business along the coast south of Burma (Myanmar).
Like all businesses providing steady income for locals, the trafficking industry has strong support, providing jobs and income, with arrests seldom made by local law enforcers.
Now, a community revolution is underway. Catholic, Muslim and Buddhist organisations around Takuapa combined with district authorities last weekend to stage what amounted to a trafficking uprising to expose the evils of the flourishing people trade.
Instead of passing on newly arrived and apprehended boatpeople to local police, who always treat them as ''illegal immigrants,'' activist groups have processed them independently.
In doing so, the good people of the Takuapa district have revealed that this long-running saga of sanctuary seekers is now not just about volunteers boarding boats to travel south, but also about scores of people being kidnapped and shipped involuntarily to an uncetain future, probably as slave labor on boats or in factories.
The nightmare of Thailand's attempts to play down levels of trafficking has finally been revealed.
It's worth noting that Burma's attitude to the Rohingya in Rakhine state remains contemptuous, so more traditional boatpeople will flow to Thailand's shores between now and April, the ''safe'' sailing season.
Added to that, though, are now the kidnap victims from Bangladesh, people who had no plans to travel but who have found themselves in a foreign country.
This is supply and demand at its most horrific.
The human trafficking industry along Thailand's coast is now indisputably linking the labor sources of Bangladesh and Burma with the needs of fishing trawlers and factories in Malaysia and Indonesia.
It's time Thailand interrupted this shocking process and cleared the trafficking stain from its reputation, once and for all.