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Police ‘wrap up’ Rohingya smuggling case

Police in Nakhon Si Thammarat province have wrapped up a Rohingya trafficking case and will forward it to public prose­cutors Friday.

Speaking during a news briefing at Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Police headquarters Thursday, Pol Lt Gen Thesa Sirivatho, the Provincial Police Region 8 commissioner, said police will submit the case to prosecutors a Pak Phanang Provincial Court Friday in order to arraign a total of 70 offenders.

According to Pol Lt Gen Thesa, 30 out of 70 suspects who were involved in human trafficking rings have been detained so far.

Authorities also confiscated assets worth more than 190 million baht from the suspects.

Pol Lt Gen Thesa said police have stepped up efforts to track down the remaining 40 suspects who reportedly remain in the country. Of them, two aged under 18, if arrested, will be tried at the Children and Juvenile Court in the province.

Authorities were also seeking arrest warrants from the court for all the remaining suspects, said Pol Lt Gen Thesa.

“Police have confidence in the evidence and witnesses because they carefully conducted the investigation right from the beginning. The evidence will be enough to bring charges against all of the suspects,” Pol Lt Gen Thesa added.

The investigation was launched after the discovery of five trucks carrying 98 Rohingya in Hua Sai district in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Jan 11.

The migrants were crammed into lorries so tightly that one of them died at the scene while another two died from diarrhoea and a blood infection.

Police later expanded the investigation to transnational human trafficking rings in other provinces including Ranong, Chumphon and Songkhla.

Pol Lt Gen Thesa added that tough government action in this human trafficking case has also resulted in a general decline in the illegal activity.