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Human trafficking busted in Chiang Rai

Three Thais accused of bringing 9 Chinese nationals across border

Police have arrested three Thai drivers and nine illegal Chinese migrants travelling in three cars in Thoeng district of this northern province.

Officers from the Crime Suppression and Highway Police divisions stopped the three cars in front of Mae Loi Rai School in tambon Mae Loi on Friday following a tip-off that some foreign nationals were being brought into the country illegally, said Pol Col Pathak Khanna, chief of CSD Sub-division 4.

The officers found nine Chinese men inside the three vehicles driven by three Thai men. The Chinese nationals had no entry documents.

All were taken to the Thoeng police station for legal action.

The Thai men were charged with assisting illegal migrants to help them escape arrest while the Chinese nationals were charged with entering and staying in the country without permission.

The recent surge in Covid-19 cases, believed to have originated among illegal migrants from Myanmar, has forced the government to concede that it needs to do more to stop human trafficking.

While controlling the country’s porous borders is difficult, the problem is compounded by the alleged involvement of some police officers, soldiers and civil servants in smoothing the way for traffickers.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha this week vowed swift action to root out migrant labour trafficking, along with gambling dens, which have also been blamed for the new wave of infections.

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