Police arrest six suspected human traffickers in Yangon, cases to be filed

Police have arrested six suspected human traffickers in Yangon, a senior official of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF) said yesterday.

The suspects, who were arrested a day earlier during a raid at their office, were allegedly working in an employment agency that had been sending workers to Thailand without a licence, U Peter Nyunt Maung, chairman of the federation, said.

An overseas employment agency, Chiang Mai Co Ltd, which had been allegedly sending labour to Thailand without an agency licence, was shut down by the police on Wednesday, the federation said.

“It has been a long time that they have been smuggling workers to Thailand,” he said.

The federation said in a statement that the illegal employment agency had collected about K1 million (US$660) as an agency service fee from each of the over 200 workers who wanted to go to work in Thailand under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Myanmar and Thailand.

The company had also sent about 1000 workers to Thailand illegally, with some of the trafficked workers having been arrested and deported to Myanmar.

Ko Ye Htike, one of the alleged victims of the group, said in a statement that each worker had to pay about K1.1 million as a placement fee.

However, they were sent to Thailand on January 12 illegally, and 20 of them were arrested by Thai police five days later. He added that they were jailed for eight days before being deported.

The federation said that, based on the complaints of deported workers, it filed a case with the police with the Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar.

“There were many cases in which they lied to workers. Several worker groups have filed cases against them,” U Kyaw Htin Kyaw, a federation official, said.

The federation alleged that the modus operandi of the company was to send workers to Thailand by signing fake job contracts and keeping the workers’ passports.

Up to 20,000 Myanmar workers go to Thailand monthly under the MoU, according to the Myanmar Labour Ministry.

Source: Myanmar Times

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