Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai court acquits pair accused of trafficking



Thai court acquits pair accused of trafficking

Migrant workers repair a net on a thai fishing boat in Thailand's Rayong province. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP
Migrant workers repair a net on a Thai fishing boat in Thailand's Rayong province. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

Thai court acquits pair accused of trafficking

Human rights observers criticised on Friday last week’s decision by a Thai provincial court to acquit two defendants in a human trafficking case involving 11 Cambodians rescued from a fishing boat early last year.

The provincial court of Ranong on Thursday acquitted defendants Ruengchai Pewngam, captain of the boat, and Somchai Jettanapornsamran, owner of the fish market in the region, of all charges, and ruled that the victims “were aware that they were going to work on board a fishing boat”, according to a release by the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF).

The court ruled that the fishermen could have resisted their alleged captors when the ship encountered Thai authorities, despite not speaking any Thai, according to the release. HRDF said it also justified harsh treatment by the captain towards the workers because of the men’s lack of professional experience.

Kanchana Akarachart, HRDF’s Anti-Labour Trafficking Project Assistant, said the verdict could be “a step back undermining the Thai government’s concerted efforts” to improve conditions on fishing boats.

Kim Chenda, chief of the National Police’s office of anti-human trafficking, said the agency is currently collecting information on a broker in Cambodia connected to this case.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could