Police bust human-trafficking gang, rescue 214 Thais forced to work in slave conditions in Cambodia
Thailand’s anti-trafficking police taskforce, in cooperation with Cambodian authorities and the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, rescued a group of Thais forced to work in slave-like conditions and arrested several others over human-trafficking charges.
Pol Lt-General Surachet Hakphan, assistant to the National Police chief, said on Friday that police had received a tip-off about some 300 Thais working inside a building in Phnom Penh.
“Officials raided the building and arrested nine Thais who had allegedly brought the victims to work there and 20 Chinese nationals who allegedly run the operation. Investigation is ongoing and additional evidence is being collected to arrest others who may be involved.
“After the raid, officials learned that the victims were being forced to work almost 20 hours daily for an illegal call centre that runs romance scams targeting people in Thailand,” he added.
“These people were forced to live in the building, not allowed to use phones or call their families and were physically abused if they were caught calling home.
“Many of the victims have signs of physical abuse on their bodies,” Surachet said.
He added that 214 of the workers have returned to Thailand, while another 99 are waiting for their documents to be processed. “The second group of people should return home within two weeks,” he said. “All Thai and Chinese nationals who have been detained will be brought to Thailand for prosecution.”