By Santiparp Ramasut
The arrests stem from a July 20 round-up of 62 Myanmar migrants from a rubber plantation in Tambon Phang La in a border district of Sadao as they were awaiting transport to Malaysia. The four, arrested elsewhere in the province after a widened police search, were accused of engaging in activities related to the smuggling and harbouring of the migrants at the plantation.
After the arrests, the police said the four Myanmar suspects had served as labour-smuggling agents and meal-delivery guards.
The team - led by Police General Suchat Theerasawat, director of the Royal Thai Police’s Centre for Children, Women, Family Protection, and Anti-Trafficking in Persons - netted the first suspect, 38-year-old U Thin So Win (unofficial spelling), at a rented room in Tambon Phang La. They arrested the other three - Maung Kapa Lin, 23, Muang Khin Muang La, 31, and U Hwe Tan, 35 (unofficial spellings) at a rented house in Tambon Ban Pru in Hat Yai district.
Of the three females who were among the rounded-up 62 migrants, one told police that during the time they were kept at the rubber plantation, she was raped at knife-point four times on two days by U Thin So Win and Muang Khin Muang La. With her report, the police filed the additional rape charges against the pair, who then reportedly confessed to the rapes.