Two major human traffickers based in Samut Sakhon were arrested as they allegedly tricked young men to work as forced labour on fishing boats on the Indonesian island of Ambon, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Suwana Suwanjuta said yesterday.
The network that the two men Chayutpong Charoenporn, 50, and Sumruay Chatkrod, 53 were involved in has operated since 2008 and they allegedly earned more than Bt150,000 (S$6,000) a month in commissions for supplying five to seven workers to the fishing boats, said DSI investigator Pol Lt-Colonel Komvit Pattanarat.
The network allegedly preyed on rural young men looking for jobs in big cities as they arrived and sold the victims to fishing-boat owners in Samut Sakhon at Bt25,000 -Bt30,000 per head. The victims were then locked up pending the drawing up of seaman's papers before being sent to the fishing boats, the DSI probe found.
Another network member, Montri Makphol, was arrested previously and his case is still before the court. Thai authorities are now looking for three other members of this network who remain elusive. DSI has also found seven alleged victims who claimed they were kept drugged or under alcohol during detention so they could not escape.