Cops nab 'migrant trafficker'

Cops nab 'migrant trafficker'

Sa Kaeo immigration police chief Pol Col Arthit Yakaew on Wednesday tells the press how his team managed to arrest a woman who allegedly smuggled migrant workers into the country. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Sa Kaeo immigration police chief Pol Col Arthit Yakaew on Wednesday tells the press how his team managed to arrest a woman who allegedly smuggled migrant workers into the country. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Immigration Bureau (IB) has arrested a 55-year-old employment agent who allegedly trafficked illegal migrant workers from neighboring countries into Thailand.

IB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang only identified the suspect as Petcharat Sathon, at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Officers caught her at a hotel in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district on Tuesday and she has been charged with smuggling migrant workers into the kingdom by bypassing checkpoints, he said.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong said the arrest was made after his bureau learnt the suspect had set up a Facebook page called "Je Petch Poipet" as a means to communicate with migrant workers wanting to hire her to smuggle them into the country while borders are closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the suspect claimed on her Facebook Page she could bring people into the country without them having to undergo a health check and a 14-day state quarantine to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Her customers were required to pay 4,000 baht for the trip, with 500 baht to be paid before setting off and the remaining 3,500 baht to be paid after crossing the border and before being picked up by an accomplice whose name and nationality are not yet known, Pol Lt Gen Sompong said.

He said police were trying to find out who else was involved in her human trafficking network.


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