PHUKET: A series of raids by police have safely taken into protection 17 children held by a human-trafficking operation in Patong, which saw children who did not bring home enough money being beaten with a coat hanger.
Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya, an assistant to the national police chief, explained at a press conference at Phuket Provincial Police headquarters in Phuket Town yesterday (Feb 23) that the children were taken into protection after raids at four locations in Patong.
Officers from Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division in Bangkok first raided a home in Soi Sila Uthit in Patong, where officers arrested foreign national Ngo Sun, 33, whose nationality was not disclosed, and Thai national Suphattra Charoensuk, 22, originally from Koh Samui.
Both were wanted by an arrest warrant issued on Friday (Feb 21), Lt Gen Jaruwat said.
At the house, officers found three children and equipment for making garlands, which the children were forced to sell.
Officers also took 14 more children into protection at three other houses, in Soi Phra Baramee 1 and Soi Nanai 2. At all three locations officers also found equipment for making garlands.
All the 17 children were Cambodian and were taken to the Phuket Shelter for Children and Families on Koh Siray, Lt Gen Jaruwat said.
“Officers will attempt to track down their parents,” he added.
“From questioning, the children were ‘hired’ [sic] by a group of foreigners. They told the children’s parents that they would take the children to work and pay the parents B5,000 per month.
“After parents agreed, they brought the children into Thailand through jungle paths then came to Phuket. They rent houses where they stayed with the children and had children sell items on the beach,” Lt Gen Jaruwat explained. FULL STORY: PHUKET NEWS