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Pattaya Daily News

26 May 2009 :: 16:05:57 pm 9132

Illegal Immigrant –Beggars Found To Be Human Trafficking Victims

After an increasing number of complaints concerning tourists being hassled by beggars and children, some extremely young, a team from Pattaya Police and the Child and Female Protection Squad went to the Walking Street area of South Pattaya on 26 May, 2009, to investigate. What they discovered was a dire case of human trafficking and child exploitation.
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At 4.20 pm on 26 May, Police Colonel Teerapol Jindaloung, on behalf of the Pattaya Constabulary, Mr. Supakorn Noja of the Child and Female Protection Squad and their police team began searching Pattaya for the beggars, street vendors etc. who had been pestering the tourists around Walking Street and nearby entertainment areas. The respective team members were responding to the many complaints which had been aired via the media to the effect that it was a grave problem that was increasing each day, with seemingly more and more illegal workers coming from neighbouring countries to ‘milk’ the lucrative tourist market in Pattaya.

The team managed to arrest about 20 Cambodians, parents and 13 children, along with a Vietnamese national, all of whom had been begging for money, as well as selling flowers and many other items. The majority of them were young mothers with babies and children, aged between 4 months up to 15-years- old. Police also arrested several Thai people who had brought wild animals, such as pythons, lorises (small, slow-moving nocturnal primates) iguanas etc. to beg tourists to have their photos taken with them.

Police took all the suspects to the police station to file their details and subject them to further processing.

After the investigation and related research concerning the gang of Cambodians from Vietnam who had been sneaking illegally into Pattaya of late, Mr. Supakorn Noja aka “ Kroo Ja” said that the officials had learned that many of the women were not even the real mothers of the children. The true scenario was, in fact, more like a human trafficking operation, which has been on the rapid increase. Most of them, it transpired, had been lured into the unfortunate situation by Thai gangs. When they were arrested, the Thai operators were easily able get away with their crimes by negotiating with the police. These human trafficking operations are increasingly giving Pattaya a really bad reputation.

The child beggars, when questioned, said they were brought out of a house in the Banglamung area at around 7.00 pm and were forced to beg for money until dawn. They had to make between 500-1000 baht per night. If they could not make it, they would be punished by being hit with sticks or denied food.

Initially, the police put the children into a temporary refuge for children and families in the Banglamung area, until their parents’ cases were sorted out. The Cambodian and Vietnamese beggars will be deported to their countries of origin after the case is closed. 

            In related news, at 6.00 pm, on 23 May, Pol. Lt. Col. Poomipat Nahmpootha, Pattaya Police Inspector, was notified that a woman, presumed to be Cambodian, had buried her child in the bush, near the parking lot of the Grand Hall Market and put a rock on the ground, apparently to hide the grave. An investigation team was sent to the location.

Arriving there, the investigation team began to dig about 50 cm. into the ground, until they found the body of a baby girl, covered by a patterned blanket. She was around 3-months old. There was a bunch of flowers and a bottle of milk in her hand. Police presumed the baby had been dead for around 5 hours.

Police questioned Mrs. Sriprai Punthongdee, [41] , from Banglamung, the food seller from a shop close to the baby’s Grave. She said the Cambodian mother-suspect was around 25 years old. Mrs Sriprai told police that the woman had told her that she had brought her child to beg for money in Pattaya. One week before the incident happened, she had told Mrs. Sriprai that her husband was a Cambodian, too, but he had left her 20 days after the baby was born. The mother and the baby, being destitute, became beggars with no place to stay.

Mrs. Sriprai continued that she had heard that the mother had gone to the Chaimongkol Temple and asked for help from the abbot to cremate her child, but the abbot had advised her to report the death to the police, after which she would be able to bring the report documentation to him and cremation would be arranged. Other witnesses were of the opinion, however, that, being an illegal immigrant, the woman wouldn’t have had the courage to face the police because she would be arrested as an alien, so she decided to take things into her own hands and bury her child herself.

The police said that they did not really believe the story, however. A more likely scenario was that the woman had been stressed out and having no money to take her presumably sick child to hospital, she might have let the child die naturally. The police have sent the baby’s body for autopsy to determine the actual cause of the death and the case will continue to be investigated.

Watch the fact about the Cambodian trafficking here

Reporter : Kampee   Photo : Kampee   Category : Crime News

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