BANGKOK, June 29 (TNA) – Thai authorities have arrested a Rohingya man wanted on charges of human trafficking for illegally bringing foreigners into the kingdom, mainly into the coastal province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, southwest of Bangkok, according to a senior police officer.
Pol. Col. Narat Sawettanant, deputy chief of Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI), told a press conference Monday that the suspect identified as Karim or Ka-em Yasem,63, was arrested on Saturday. Police also seized four foreigner identity cards in his possession.
The man is charged with allegedly being a front for preparing identity cards for Rohingya and other foreign nationals to enter Prachuap Khiri Khan province in the past, Col. Narat said.
The alleged people smuggler said several Rohingya people who have lived in Thailand several years had set up a gang and joined with some Thai government officials to bring Rohingya people into Thailand, charging fees ranging from Bt22,000-30,000 per person.
A total of 7,089 Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority people from Bangladesh and Myanmar, along with other foreigners, were illegally brought into three districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan between 2005 until now by the gang, he said.
Pol. Col. Songsak Raksaksakul, chief of the DSI’s Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime Bureau, said a Cabinet resolution in 2005 which allowed foreigners to stay in Thailand under guarantee by a certified community gives an opportunity to Rohingya people who are long-time residents of Thailand to bring their extended families and others into Thailand on guarantees issued by village heads, with local administrative officials later issuing them identity cards.
The ‘tea money’given to village heads and administrative officials is about Bt25,000 per head, Col. Songsak said, for human traffickers to could bring illegal migrants into border provinces, including Ranong and Trat, Col. Songsak said. (TNA)
General News : Last Update : 17:35:04 29 June 2009 (GMT+7:00)