Category Archives: Arrest, Detention and Deportation

Thirty-Six Vietnamese to Be Deported After Shop Raids, The Cambodia Daily

Immigration police arrested 36 illegal Vietnamese immigrants Thursday morning during coordinated raids of 18 furniture shops in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district, an immigration official said.

The raids were carried out as part of the government’s ongoing census of foreigners living in the country, said Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s general department of immigration, adding that all of the furniture shops were located in Phsar Doeum Thkov commune, where local residents had tipped off authorities to the presence of the Vietnamese laborers.

“We arrested 36 at 18 furniture shops,” he said. “Twenty-one of them had passports, but they [only] had tourist visas, which they cannot use to work in the country.”

Lt. Gen. Heisela said the 21 had been given a week to leave the country, while the remaining 15 would be deported next week. Since the start of the year—when the census was scheduled to finish—some 600 illegal immigrants have been deported by the Interior Ministry, about 500 of them Vietnamese, Lt. Gen. Heisela said.


Published on: 12 June 2015

Nine Vietnamese Arrested in Battambang Census Raids

Nine Vietnamese nationals found to be living in Cambodia illegally were arrested at furniture-making workshops in Battambang City on Tuesday as the national immigration census nears its end, a police official said Wednesday.

Oeun Sarun, deputy provincial police chief, said the raids at the two businesses in Svay Por and Chamkar Samraong communes came after several months of investigations.

“Police have worked in the communes for a few months and after checking records they arrested nine people who were found without passports or immigration documents,” said Mr. Sarun, adding that the seven men and two women were believed to have crossed into Cambodia through illegal checkpoints in Svay Rieng and Kandal provinces within the past month.

Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said that a total of 1,280 people had been deported since the census began in August, including 1,100 Vietnamese nationals.

Mr. Heisela said the latest group arrested in Battambang would be deported once he had received a letter of confirmation from Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

By Sek Odom

Trafficking is alive and well

Yet another news report started the week proving the abysmal failure in the fight against human trafficking. A Rohingya woman, among nearly 100 crammed like animals into a pickup truck, was crushed to death.

Police, obeying the outdated rules, arrested the other 97 trafficking victims, and the truck driver.

Once again, officials said nothing about pursuing those behind this murderous atrocity.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has mentioned several times during the past few months that a national plan is needed against human trafficking. He is right.

The country has long suffered notoriety as a hub of modern slavery and human trafficking. The PM’s order was promptly followed by new rules and laws to regulate and monitor the appalling fishing industry, to crack down on sex trafficking and child labour, and to compensate the victims of trafficking.

The PM also demanded immediate, monthly reports from state agencies about what they’ve done to stem trafficking and called for better coordination among them.

It remains to be seen how long it will take for orders from the top to turn into real action on the ground. The effectiveness of the policy will depend on action, not just words.

Gen Prayut has spoken of the national necessity to get off the United States’ list of perilous human trafficking locales. Thailand landed on that list last year after 10 years of a declining reputation and three years of specific warnings to improve or be ranked among the worst.

The country did not improve; it now ranks among the worst.

But using the US as motivation to fight human trafficking is not the right way to proceed. Security agencies, the government and the legal system should pursue traffickers, companies that use slavery and cross-border criminals because they are wrong for Thailand — not because we hope for kinder words from America.

Since the government insists on using the Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department as the gold standard, let us recall who was in charge as the annual reports documented Thailand’s slide from a respectable, committed country combatting human trafficking to one of the worst enablers of rights violations in the world.

In chronological order: Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai Party and its successors under several prime ministers; the army junta of 2006-2007 under Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin; the Democrats under Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva; the Pheu Thai government under Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck; and now the Prayut administration, which faces an immense challenge to turn things around.

So much needs to be done. The proposal to register fishing-boat crews and to monitor the operations of commercial trawlers is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. There must be concerted measures to fight traffickers who lure and feed both foreign and Thai men into the dirtiest part of the fishing business.

And we have heard nothing so far from businesses — canners, agribusiness, food packers, clothing manufacturers and many others. Bad apples in business allow human trafficking and slavery to exist.

The government should begin forcing them to ensure decent treatment of legal employees.

By Bangkok Post

Local villagers reject Rohingya

A vacant house in a police compound will be used as a shelter for 95 illegal Rohingya migrants after local Muslims in Nakhon Si Thammarat province refused to allow them to be housed near their communities.

Local authorities had planned to accommodate them at other locations, but Thai Muslim residents in Hua Sai district opposed the idea.

Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Peerasak Hinmuangkao therefore ordered Hua Sai municipal officials to use a vacant house in the police station compound as a shelter. The Rohingya would receive humanitarian aid pending a decision on their future, he said. Further assistance would be provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

The Rohingya were rounded up at a road checkpoint in Hua Sai district on Sunday while traveling in a convoy of many pickup trucks.

Municipal workers fumigated the police compound house to kill mosquitoes and placed it off-limits to the public to prevent the possible transmission of malaria from the Rohingya to local communities. Temporary toilets and lighting would be installed, and tap water, he said.

It was reported that four members of the Rohingya group had died at the sea off Thailand’s Phangnga province after waiting for four months aboard a boat for a chance to go ashore. Three more died after landing from suffocation, blood infections and diarrhea.

Police are investigating reports that a local human trafficking cartel is transporting Rohingya through Thailand to Malaysia and charging each illegal migrant 40,000-50,000 baht per trip.

By Bangkok Post

Rohingya dies in crammed pickup truck: Police arrest 98 ‘trafficking victims’

A Rohingya woman was crushed to death while being transported in a crammed pickup truck from Phangnga to Songkhla yesterday.

She was among 98 Rohingya migrants believed to have been smuggled into the country by a human-trafficking ring. They were arrested at a checkpoint in Hua Sai district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province early yesterday.

The dead woman was buried by workers from the Pracha Ruamjai Foundation.

Pol Capt Somporn Thongcheen, deputy inspector in charge of crime suppression at Hua Sai police station, said the 98 migrants were found crammed into five vehicles.

He said the woman most likely suffocated and the others appeared exhausted.

Pol Capt Somporn said Hua Sai police set up the checkpoint on the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Songkhla road at Village Group 2 in tambon Sai Khao after obtaining information that a number of illegal migrants would pass through the district on their way to Songkhla.

About 4am yesterday, a convoy of vehicles was spotted heading towards the checkpoint.

Officers were able to stop five of the vehicles, but the rest escaped.

There were three four-door pickups, one pickup modified as a van and a Toyota Fortuner.

The drivers of three vehicles fled the scene and the other two were arrested. They were identified as Sawat Phadungchart, 29, of Ranong’s Suksamran district, and Suthipong Chuaypat, 49, of Surat Thani’s Chaiya district.

The migrants found in the five vehicles were later taken to Hua Sai police station.

They were then taken in small groups to Hua Sai Hospital for treatment. All had been travelling without food for two days, Pol Capt Somporn said.

The two drivers said they had picked the Rohingya up from a coastal area of Phangnga and were taking them to Songkhla.

Human trafficking rings have changed their routes from Andaman coastal provinces to provinces along the Gulf of Thailand to avoid strict suppression there, Pol Capt Somporn said.

Churin Khwanthong, chief of the social development and human security office of Nakhon Si Thammarat, said he assigned officials to interview each migrant through interpreters to find out if they had been victims of a human-trafficking movement.

If they were victims of human trafficking rings, authorities would find ways to deport them back to their country of origin, Mr Churin said.

Many local Muslims came to the police station to give food and clothing to the Rohingya after learning of their arrest.

Rohingya have fled their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar via Thailand to Malaysia in increasing numbers recently.

By Nucharee Rakrun

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