Thailand hands over human trafficking suspect to Myanmar

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Thailand yesterday handed over a Myanmar national to authorities in his home country over charges of allegedly being involved in human trafficking.

The suspect was handed over to immigration officials of Koh Song province in a ceremony presided over by Ranong Governor Suriyan Kanjanasil.

The suspect, identified only as Zhi, is a prime suspect and wanted in Myanmar over allegations of being a frontman in a forced-labour racket in the fishing industry, the governor said.

Some 300 Myanmar nationals have filed complaints with Myanmar authorities saying that they had paid Zhi to get them jobs in the construction industry, but he forced them to work on fishing vessels.

Myanmar authorities alerted their Thai counterparts that Zhi had escaped to Ranong, the governor said. He was finally tracked down and found to be running a restaurant in Muang district as an alleged front for his syndicate.

This is the second time that Ranong authorities have handed over a Myanmar suspect in relation to human trafficking this year.

Pol Colonel Myan Khai, chief of the anti-human trafficking unit of Myanmar, said Zhi was also a suspect in several other cases including murder.

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