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Police investigate human trafficking after arrest of Chinese workers

PHOTO: MGR Online

Phuket police are looking into potential human trafficking implications, following the arrest of 28 Chinese nationals earlier this week.

On Tuesday, December 26, police arrested 27 Chinese men and one Chinese woman for working illegally at a hotel construction site. The authorities are now looking into the possibility that the group was part of a human smuggling operation.

The arrest was the second one in north Phuket in the space of a week, after 30 Chinese workers were arrested at another construction site on Tuesday, December 19.

Meanwhile, Thai PBS World reports that in northern Thailand, a group of 20 illegal migrants, 4 of them Chinese, were found during a routine check of two pickup trucks in Tak province.

In this week’s arrest, police were acting on a tip-off when they raided the construction site in the Layan area of the Cherngtalay sub-district. The Chinese workers had all entered the kingdom on tourist visas.

When questioned by police, the group said they’d been picked up at the airport by a “Mr Her” and taken to the construction site. The workers have told the authorities that they were not forced to work. They say they started each day at 8.00am, they had an hour and a half for lunch, and worked again until 5.30pm.

They also claim they were told they’d receive a daily salary of between 2,500 and 2,800 baht, but would only be paid once they’d been there two months.

The workers have been charged with working illegally in Thailand. Police are now trying to find “Mr Her”.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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