Thai army officer surrenders in human trafficking probe

Jun 3, 2015, 12:12 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — A senior Thai army officer turned himself in Wednesday to face charges over his alleged involvement in a human trafficking scandal that included people from Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia, marking the first arrest of a military official since authorities launched a widening probe last month.

More than 50 people, including several local politicians and officials, were arrested after the discovery of 36 bodies believed to be those of Myanmar’s Rohingya migrants at abandoned trafficking camps near the Thai-Malaysian border. Police are searching for more than 30 others of suspected involvement in the trafficking networks.

Southern Thailand has long been a regional trafficking hub for migrants from the persecuted ethnic minority in Myanmar and for Bangladeshis seeking a better life in other countries, and human rights groups accuse Thai authorities of collusion in the trafficking.

Lt. Gen. Manas Kongpaen, a senior adviser to the Royal Thai Army who once oversaw the human trafficking issue in a coastal province, faces multiple charges of human trafficking, assisting aliens to illegally enter the country, illegally detaining people and seeking ransoms to help the migrants.

After an arrest warrant was issued for Manas earlier this week, he arrived at the national police headquarters to hear the charges before he was sent to the southern province of Songkhla for questioning.

“He insisted that he had no involvement and denied the charges,” national police chief Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung told reporters.

The military has denied any involvement in the trafficking syndicates.

Asian nations have been struggling in the face of growing waves of desperate migrants who are landing on the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and other regional countries. In the last few weeks alone, at least 4,600 people have washed ashore or been rescued by fishermen, and several thousand more are believed to still be at sea after human smugglers abandoned their boats amid a regional crackdown.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

FILE - A fuel trucks drives along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 27, 2023. European Union go...
Associated Press

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the U.S., Middle East and India.
21 hours ago
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Thai army officer surrenders in human trafficking probe