In order to tackle transnational human trafficking gangs, Thai police are attempting to strengthen their collaboration with their Hong Kong counterparts.
The chief of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD), Pol Maj Gen Saruti Khwaengsopha, gave his deputy Pol Col Marut Kanchanakanthakul instructions to take an ATPD delegation to a meeting against human trafficking in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from September 20–22.
After Thai women were tricked and coerced into prostitution in Hong Kong, Pol Maj Gen Saruti told the Bangkok Post that they met with authorities at the Kowloon West Regional Police Headquarters to discuss anti-human trafficking cooperation.
“The ATPD is directly responsible for investigating human trafficking cases after Thai women were sent to Hong Kong for prostitution,” he claimed.
Members of the Hong Kong police visited Thailand on March 23 to provide information about a case with the ATPD, according to Pol Maj Gen Saruti.
According to Pol Maj Gen Saruti, they discovered that a Thai woman was a part of a multinational human trafficking ring and recruited other Thai women for prostitution.
Using this information, ATPD police in Kanchanaburi’s Tha Maka area detained a woman, 45, and accused her with participating in human trafficking on May 18.
Police claim the suspect acknowledged luring Thai women to prostitution in Hong Kong in exchange for a “commission” of 10,000 Baht each victim.
According to the police, a group in Hong Kong pushed victims into prostitution and profited from the black market sex trade.
According to the ATPD, Hong Kong police later saved the victims and sent them to Thailand where they received aid.
As more suspected people traffickers were detained, Pol Maj Gen Saruti commended the collaboration between the ATPD and Hong Kong police as a success.
He continued by saying that Hong Kong and Thailand were prepared to continue their collaborative efforts to combat human trafficking and stop others from becoming victims.
According to Pol Col Marut, Thailand and Hong Kong were both ranked Tier 2 in the US’s June 15 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for 2023.
According to him, the Thai delegation also spoke with representatives of the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) of the Hong Kong Police Force about working together to combat human trafficking.
According to him, it was initially decided that the government’s of both sides would work together to increase the effectiveness of measures to combat human trafficking.
He stated that it might take a while to arrest offenders after following the law’s formal procedures.
According to Pol Col Marut, “We think that cooperation and information-sharing through personal channels could help us better cope with transnational human trafficking, notably prostitution.
Thailand has a system in place to identify victims of trafficking so they can receive the services they require, and police will deepen their investigations to apprehend traffickers. Police Col. Marut remarked.
The ATPD delegation saw a training exercise in which police rescued people who had been pushed into prostitution while they were in Hong Kong.
He added emphasis was made on actions to assure the victims’ best security and effectiveness in the arrest of offenders. The Thai police can use it in their efforts to combat crime, according to Pol Col Marut.
The delegation also paid a visit to the Emergency Unit Kowloon West of the Hong Kong Police Force, he continued. There, they received information regarding the Feb. 9 rescue of two Thai human trafficking captives held hostage in an apartment.
The Department of Consular Affairs and the ATPD worked together on the rescue under the direction of the OCTB chief, according to Pol Col Marut.
The head inspector of the OCTB, Yan Fong-wai, claimed that the issue of human trafficking in Hong Kong is universal.
According to him, mainland Chinese people make up the majority of trafficking victims in Hong Kong. Many of them are misled into working for call-center gangs there, and some are coerced or pushed into the sex industry. He declared that Hong Kong police are ready to cooperate with Thai authorities in the fight against international human trafficking.
The meeting was an opportunity for Thai and Hong Kong law enforcement officials to share expertise and experience, according to Alan Chung, superintendent of the Kowloon West regional crime section.
The meeting served as a forum for the Thai and Hong Kong police to strengthen their partnership. He noted that in the near future, Hong Kong police also intend to send a group to Thailand for study purposes.