Chinese beggars questioned

FILE PHOTO: A woman begs for donations in Lat Phrao area of Bangkok in 2016. (Bangkok Post photo)
FILE PHOTO: A woman begs for donations in Lat Phrao area of Bangkok in 2016. (Bangkok Post photo)

An investigation has been launched after three Chinese women, with scarred faces and amputated hands, were found by police begging on the roadside at different spots in Bangkok.

One minister said on Monday that the beggars might be victims of human trafficking.

Officials went to an area in front of a department store in Pin Klao area after being informed that a Chinese woman in a student uniform had begged for money under a pedestrian crossing. Her face and head appeared deformed, appearing to have been attacked with acid or hot water, and her hands amputated.

The woman was found with a bag, a chair, a money box and a room keycard. She was taken to Bang Phlat police station for an interview via an interpreter.

She said she arrived in Thailand alone on Nov 10 to beg for money, not knowing that doing so is illegal. She was a divorcee, she told police, and had two children back in China. As for the scars on the face, she said as a child playing with a friend, there was an explosion in a car and some liquid splashed on her face.

Six other Chinese women have been seen begging at other spots in Bangkok, some with one hand cut off and others with both hands amputated. Their faces were also scarred.

Police managed to find two other women. One, about 33 years old, was found sitting on the roadside in Pratunam area with a plastic begging bowl. She was brought to Phayathai police station for questioning. Police found in her possession 10,400 baht in 20-baht and 100-baht notes.

Police were still looking for the four other Chinese women.

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security were trying to find how the women had entered the country, whether they carried proper travel documents and whether they had come voluntarily or been victims of human trafficking.

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  • acid: a chemical, usually a liquid, that contains hydrogen and has a pH of less than seven. Acids are usually sour and can often burn holes in or damage things they touch. - กรด, ของเหลวที่มีฤทธิ์เป็นกรด, ของเหลวที่มีสภาพเป็นกรด
  • amputate (verb): when a doctor cuts a person's leg or hand off for some medical reason - ตัดออก (โดยเฉพาะด้วยการผ่าตัด), ตัด(แขน,ขา)
  • beggar: a person who lives by asking people for money or food - คนขอทาน
  • begging (noun): getting money by asking people for money , on the side of the street, for example - การขอทาน
  • deformed (adj): having a different shape from what is usual or natural - มีรูปร่างที่ผิดปกติไป, ผิดรูป, เสียโฉม
  • divorcee (noun): a person whose marriage has been legally ended, especially a woman - ผู้หย่า (หญิง), หญิงที่หย่ากับสามีแล้ว
  • human trafficking: the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others (Source: Wikipedia) - การค้ามนุษย์
  • interpreter: someone who changes what someone else is saying into another language - ล่าม
  • liquid: a substance that flows freely and is not a solid or a gas, for example water or oil - ของเหลว
  • minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี
  • possession: having or owning something - การครอบครอง
  • scar: a permanent mark on your skin where you have been injured - แผลเป็น, รอยแผลเป็น
  • voluntarily: done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
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