Thailand:Cops save 52 Burmese, nab kidnappers

Police have rescued 52 illegal Burmese workers from two houses in Suphan Buri and arrested two Burmese nationals and four other Thais for allegedly illegally detaining them for ransom.

The rescue operation was carried out by the Anti-Human Trafficking Division police team following a complaint by a Burmese woman that her daughter and her son-in-law had been kidnapped by a gang for a 36,000 baht ransom.

In her complaint through the Thai Allied Committee with Desegregated Burma Foundation, the Burmese woman, Ma Te Te, 41, said her daughter and son-in-law had entered Thailand with the help of a Burmese broker, Soe Aung Thui, 25.

On entering Thailand, Soe Aung Thui allegedly detained her daughter and son-in-law before telephoning her and asking her to pay him 36,000 baht in exchange for the pair’s freedom.

The Burmese woman told the police she managed to bargain the ransom down to 15,000 baht and had transferred the money to the gang’s bank account.

She sought help from the foundation after the gang refused to free the two and demanded more money.

Police said they arranged for Soe Aung Thui to make an appointment with the gang at a jetty at Soi Wat Mon in Samut Prakarn’s Klong Dan district with the promise of another 15,000 baht payment.

Police said Soe Aung Thui was arrested when he showed up with Ma Te Te’s son-in-law, Ko Se, 24.

An interrogation of Soe Aung Thui led the police to two houses in Moo 1 in tambon Ban Sra of Suphan Buri’s Samchuk district where Ma Te Te’s daughter Sen Mo Mo, 21, was being detained along with 50 other illegal Burmese migrants.

The five other members of the gang who included four Thai nationals, Somprasong Thongprasob, 39, Komkrit Sarawong, 23, Ms Chamlong Thongprasob, 54, and Thanawat Techalue, 23, were detained during the raid.

Police, identified the fifth suspect as Ao Le, 25, a Burmese national. They said they also seized 531,669 baht in cash, two pickup trucks, mobile phones and documents from the gang.

In Kanchanaburi, police also rescued a man allegedly kidnapped and tortured by a gang from a hotel room in Muang district for a 180,000 baht ransom.

Sunet Sitrairat, 41, a younger brother of a second-hand car business owner, was freed late on Tuesday night after policemen stormed the hotel room.

Police said Mr Sunet had left his used car tent in Bangkok late on Monday night to meet two female teenagers at a hotel on Rajapruek Road.

The two girls had been used by the gang to lure Mr Sunet to the hotel where he was allegedly detained and tortured by the gang using electric shocks to reveal his ATM card pin numbers.

He was later put in the boot of a car and taken by the gang to a hotel in Muang district.

Police said they arrested three suspects at the hotel before being able to detain two others while driving the victim’s car around town and catching them withdrawing money from ATM machines using Mr Sunet’s cards.

Police, who identified the gang leader as Natthawut Tasue, 26, said the two gang members had already withdrawn around 180,000 baht when they were arrested.

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