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Thailand clamp on trafficking sought

Manama, September 18, 2012

Thailand has been urged to tighten up the screening of air passengers to help prevent criminal gangs from trafficking people to Bahrain.

Growing numbers of vulnerable women are being tricked into prostitution and the failure of the country's authorities to enforcement laws is contributing to the problem, according to a top diplomat.

"We have awareness and special programmes to educate our nationals, but most of the victims in distress especially women are those who have visa violations or are runaways from their sponsors," said Thai Embassy consul Thatree Chauvachata.

"We need to get rid of this issue back home, especially with no screening or departure checks of our nationals.”

"Our Labour Ministry and immigration officials in Thailand should work hard to ensure there is no violation of tourist visas.”

"One only has to change a letter in their name and a new passport is easily issued in Thailand, which enables these traffickers to travel frequently without any restrictions."

Chauvachata's comments came as it emerged Thai authorities had arrested a woman on charges of human trafficking and forcing them into prostitution in Bahrain.

The 27-year-old suspect, identified as Dutdao Yarana or Champaign, was detained at Phuket International Airport.

National Operation Centre on Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking (Nocht) vice-director Colonel Prasert Pattanadee said the Thai woman had several warrants out for her arrest based on human trafficking charges.

"There are still many sex traffickers and Thai female victims in Bahrain as well as other countries," he warned.

Identified

Col Pattanadee said authorities began investigating the case of 10 women forced into prostitution in Bahrain after one of the victims called the Nocht hotline.

"All the women were returned to Thailand," he told the Pattaya Daily News.

But Col Pattanadee said one of the victims later identified Dutdao as one of her traffickers, along with the suspect Benjawan Promma or Nueng, 37, who escaped before police could arrest her.

The victims told police the women controlled them while they lived in an apartment in Hoora and had seized their passports, according to the report.

They claimed the suspects made arrangements with a Thai woman, married to a Bahraini, who forced them to work in brothels.

The report said police investigations showed the suspects had worked as a team to deceive the victims by offering them highly paid jobs in foreign countries.

"The sex traffickers also targeted young females from north or north-east Thailand," said Col Pattanadee.

"The victims would later be forced and threatened if they did not consent to be sex workers in Bahrain." – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Thailand | Manama | Trafficking |

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