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Thai cops nab man trafficking Rohingya

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BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – A 56-year-old man has been arrested in Ratchaburi’s Muang district for alleged involvement in trafficking more than 200 Rohingya migrants into the country.

His arrest on Saturday was part of an extended probe into the arrest of 14 migrants in January 2018, police said.

The suspect, Charin Chuenchom, believed to be a key figure in the human trafficking ring, was nabbed in Moo 2 village of tambon Ban Rai on charges of smuggling migrants into the country, providing them with shelter, and human trafficking.

Pol Col Apisant Chairat, a superintendent of the Anti-Human Trafficking Suppression Division, said the suspect was wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Thung Song court in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The suspect was accused of being a key member of a human trafficking gang transporting Rohingya people from the Myanmar state of Rakhine through Thailand to Malaysia. The gang was paid 12,000 baht (about $398) per head and was believed to have trafficked more than 200 Rohingya people, he said.

“Police believe the gang has smuggled Rohingya people on more than 20 occasions, about 10-15 people each time,” Pol Col Apisant said.

Charin’s arrest was part of the extended investigation into the arrest of 14 Rohingya migrants and two Thais on board a train at Thung Song station in Nakhon Si Thammarat in January last year. Mr Charin allegedly used other people’s identities to buy train tickets for the migrants while the two Thai nationals who were arrested were hired to escort the migrants, according to Pol Col Apisant.

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