Twenty-two people who have profited from human trafficking have been arrested in Thailand as part of an ongoing crackdown, local police have said. Major-General Paween Pongsirin, a senior police commander in the country’s south, said on Thursday that 26 new arrest warrants had been issued for suspects accused of trading humans and money laundering. From the new warrants, 12 individuals had already been arrested, Pongsirin said. Another 16 warrants have been issued for money laundering charges related to trafficking, of whom 10 have been detained.
Thailand has previously been accused of ignoring official complicity in the multi-million dollar trade which flourished until recently through the southern provinces and into Malaysia. “No state officials are involved in this batch,” Pongsirin added.
In July, Thai prosecutors announced 72 people had been indicted after a crackdown in May which led to the unravelling of vast networks of people smuggling with thousands of migrants abandoned in open waters and jungle camps by traffickers which eventually forced a regional response. Among the suspects was Lieuenant General Manas Kongpan, thought to be a major smuggling kingpin in the human trafficking trade.