Mislabled Media Reports?

The Phuket Gazette has reported that four Thai nationals have been jailed for gross negligence resulting in death and breaking immigration laws in 2008 when 54 Myanmar nationals died from suffocation as they were being transported into Phuket.

Although the article states in the title and first paragraph that this was a human trafficking incident, it didn’t present any evidence nor cite any claims that this was actually the case.

Those who survived being crammed into the six meter by 2.2 meter box were immediately detained by police as illegal immigrants to be presented to court the next day.

All survivors were repatriated to Myanmar.

From what was said in the article, this looks more like a case of smuggling than human trafficking. The 121 people who’d been sealed inside the seafood container may have been complicit in the illegal activity, or they may not have been.

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2 Responses to Mislabled Media Reports?

  1. Kim Bond says:

    The presence of foreign nationals in the Thai brothels led the government to pass a 1928 law expressly prohibiting trafficking in women and girls. According to the Trafficking in Women and Girls Act (Anti-Trafficking Act), any person who brings women or girls into Thailand for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with other persons, and any person who is involved illegally in the trading of women or girls brought into the country for such purposes, will be liable to not more than seven years imprisonment or a fine of not more than 1,000 baht ($40 in 1993 currency) or both.

    • penston says:

      Thanks for sharing that, Kim. I didn’t know that Thailand considers smuggling sex workers to be trafficking.

      The Phuket Gazette didn’t state if the people from Myanmar had been brought into the country as sex workers, labourers or something else, so there are still question marks.

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