TIES WITH BRUNEI
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, BRUNEI : Thailand and Brunei will ramp up efforts to combat human trafficking and prostitution after an increase in reports of Thai women being lured into the illegal flesh trade in the sultanate.
Thai ambassador to Brunei, Apichart Phetcharatana, said the countries would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on human trafficking before the end of the year. The agreement will be signed by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the Royal Brunei Police Force.
"Officials from both countries are working out the details of the MoU. If it is signed, it will be used as a guideline for them to work together to suppress human trafficking and prostitution in Brunei," Mr Apichart said.
At least 20 Thai women were lured into prostitution in Brunei last year by human traffickers, he said.
He said the number would continue to rise if nothing was done to stop it.
Most of the women are smuggled through Malaysia into Brunei by Thai human trafficking gangs, Mr Apichart said. Prostitution is illegal in Brunei.
Thai men working in Brunei were also running into trouble for illegally distilling their own liquor and fighting, he said.
There are about 3,200 Thai nationals working in Brunei.
Most are employed in the construction industry or in garages, supermarkets and air-conditioning repair shops.
Mr Apichart said he was working with Thai business operators and workers in the sultanate to help solve the problems.
About 100 of them had volunteered to help spread the message that producing alcohol was illegal in Brunei and could land them in jail.
About the author
- Writer: Anucha Charoenpo