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2 arrested over Lao sex workers

Immigration police yesterday arrested two men on suspicion of involvement in the trafficking of women from Laos into Thailand to work in the sex trade.

Pol Col Pitsanu Sitthithun, chief investigator of Immigration Police Division 4, said Somsak Buakhem, 46, and Vacharapong Ratchaburi, 21, were arrested at a house in Nong Khai’s Tha Bo district.

On Sept 29, the Nong Khai Provincial Court approved a warrant for their arrest as requested by immigration police on charges of providing shelter and assistance for foreigners who had entered the country illegally and helping them to evade arrest.

Police investigators concluded the two men were involved in human trafficking.

When women were illegally brought across the Mekong River into Thailand from Laos, they allegedly took them by vehicle to hideouts at designated locations in Tha Bo district.

Pol Col Pitsanu said their detention followed the arrest of several other people recently on charges of human smuggling.

The extended investigation was continuing, he said.

Meanwhile, the Thai embassy in Yangon has posted a message on its Facebook page warning Thais not to fall victim to online scams advertising well-paid jobs with six-figure monthly salaries in several cities in Shan state such as Laogai, Muse and Mongla.

The embassy warned that the victims may not be able to return to Thailand because their passports will be seized by scammers and they will be forced to work in illegal businesses such as prostitution, encouraged to take drugs, or end up in debt.

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