Police said yesterday they had identified a broker responsible for trafficking several Cambodian fishermen who were part of a group of 24 victims repatriated from the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius last week.
Chiv Phally, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department, said the victims had helped to identify the suspect.
“We will send this case to local authorities and co-operate [so they] know the identity clearly and exactly where the [suspect] lives,” Chiv Phally said.
Many of the victims were reluctant to co-operate with police, providing suspicious accounts of how they first arrived in Thailand, he said.
Cambodian fishermen have repeatedly been rescued in foreign countries after escaping slave labour aboard clandestine fishing boats they were trafficked onto in Thailand after being lured by Cambodian brokers.
Chiv Phally said most of the repatriated men had made dubious claims that they had voluntarily crossed the border into Thailand.
“We begged them to answer honestly. We want to catch the broker. We do not want to see other victims suffer the same thing,” he said.