Sixteen Myanmar migrant workers, including three minors under 18 years old, who were allegedly ‘sold’ to a Malaysia fishing boat in southern Thailand were rescued by Thai officials on July 13, according to a Thai-based migrant rights groups.
“We were asked to rescue migrants on July 8, and we spent about four days collecting information about the victims and their location. After that we asked Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation to help rescue the victims,” said U Kyaw Thaung, director of the Myanmar Association in Thailand (MAT), on Monday.
He said that initially 13 Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand were sold by a broker to the Malaysian fishing boat that had docked with fake documents at Naya Thiwa Port, Pattani province, in Thailand.
U Kyaw Thaung said each worker had paid 17,000 baht to the broker to find jobs in Indonesia, but the broker sold them to the fishing boat instead.
“When we asked the DSI to help save our workers, it asked for a recommendation letter from the Myanmar Embassy. They rescued our migrants on July 13 when we provided the recommendation letter,” Ko Shwe Tun Aye, chair of Migrant Workers’ Network in Phuket, said Monday.
He said the workers were rescued with the help of the Thai army.
According to MAT, they also rescued other Myanmar migrants, one aged 14 and two aged 17, who had been sold by another broker to the fishing boat on the day the rescue team reached them.
According to U Kyaw Thaung, the 16 Myanmar workers were to be sent to a fishing vessel in Indonesia. Fifteen of the victims are from Rakhine State and one is from Bago Region.
All the rescued victims are being held at a detention center, and Thai officials are planning to arrest the brokers for human trafficking.
Source - mmtimes