Key trafficker of Rohingya arrested

Key trafficker of Rohingya arrested

Police show an arrest warrant while arresting Charin Chuenchom, 56, in Muang district of Ratchaburi province on Saturday. (Police photo)
Police show an arrest warrant while arresting Charin Chuenchom, 56, in Muang district of Ratchaburi province on Saturday. (Police photo)

RATCHABURI: A man, 56, was arrested for allegedly smuggling at least 200 Rohingya migrants into the country destined for Malaysia, with the most recent group of 14 migrants arrested in the South.

Pol Col Apisant Chairat, a superintendent of the Anti-Human Trafficking Suppression Division, said on Sunday that Charin Chuenchom was arrested at a house in Moo 2 village of tambon Ban Rai in Muang district, Ratchaburi, on Saturday.

He was wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Thung Song court in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Police charged him with smuggling migrants into the country, accommodating them and trafficking in persons.

Pol Col Apisant said that the suspect was a key member of a human trafficking gang illegally transporting Rohingya people from the Myanmar State of Rakhine through Thailand to Malaysia. The gang included a former railway policeman, he said.

"They charged each Rohingya migrant 12,000 baht. We believe they have smuggled Rohingya people on more than 20 occasions, about 10-15 people each time, and they have collected more than 4 million baht," the superintendent said.

According to Pol Col Apisant, authorities arrested 14 illegal Rohingya migrants and two Thai smugglers on a train at the Thung Song station in Nakhon Si Thammarat in January last year. Mr Chanin was suspected of using other people's identities to buy train tickets for the migrants.

The train was destined for the Thai-Malaysian border. The migrants were extremely hungry as they had no food, only a small amount of drinking water.

Pol Col Apisant said that Mr Chanin confessed and was sent to the Thung Song police station for prosecution.

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