The Criminal Court on Wednesday will rule on a major human-trafficking case involving as many as 103 defendants, including a senior military officer, Manas Kongpan.
The ruling is due to be delivered at 8.30am.
The trial began in 2015 as suspected syndicates were accused of trafficking migrants, notably ethnic Rohingya, to Thailand and via the Kingdom to other destinations.
Thai and Myanmar citizens were arrested that year following the discovery of a mass grave in jungle shelters in the border district of Sadao, in Songkhla province, used by traffickers to hold the migrants.
Investigations indicated a number of security officials as well as Thai and Myanmar civilians had taken the migrants – originally from Bangladesh and western Myanmar – to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The case attracted international attention to the regional migrant crisis across the Indian Ocean, and countries were criticized for ignoring the problem.
Thailand was then downgraded to the lowest level – Tier 3 – in the US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” (TIP) report in both 2014 and 2015.
The Thai government has since taken a number of measures, including amendment of its trafficking law and the creation of a special division in the Criminal Court to handle human-trafficking cases in particular.
Wednesday’s ruling is the first such case for the new division.
Thailand, meanwhile, remains on the Watch List in Washington’s annual TIP report.
Source - TheNation