On 31 January 2018, the Anti–Human Trafficking Section under the Criminal Court sentenced two defendants found guilty of human trafficking offences to prison for 11 years each. Both defendants lured two Thai fishermen to work on the fishing vessel named “Katesuwanrat 11”. The fishermen were then forced to work over time, unlawfully detained and suffered physical assaults. The captain of the said fishing vessel was also prosecuted as the third defendant for conspiring to commit human trafficking and benefiting from forced labour. The Court has set the date for delivering the verdict on the captain to 26 February 2018.
Previously in 2017, the Criminal Court delivered the verdict on “Kantang case”, sentencing the defendant, who was the Chairman of the Trang Fishing Association and a prominent local businessman as well as the owner of the fish market, and 6 others to 14 years imprisonment for unlawful detention and physical assaults on 11 crew members. Additionally, the Court imposed a fine of 600,000 Baht (approximately 16,200 Euros) on the company owning the said fishing vessel. Another high profile case is “Lung-Long case” whereby the Criminal Court sentenced the defendant to 4 years in prison for physical assaults on a Cambodian crew. The Labour Court also ordered the employer to pay outstanding wages totaling 400,000 Baht (approximately 10,800 Euros) to Mr. Lung-long.
During 2015-2017, the Thai authorities prosecuted 86 cases for human trafficking offences in fishery sector, out of this 32 cases came to completion with 3 pending cases scheduled to go before the Court within March 2018. At present, the law enforcement agencies, namely, the Royal Thai Police, The Department of Special Investigation, the Office of the Attorney General and the Criminal Court, have established a special unit in each institution to solely handle human trafficking offences. In doing so, Thailand is the first country in ASEAN to set up a special unit for this particular offence which in turn has sped up the whole justice process. This demonstrates the Royal Thai Government’s unwavering commitment to administering the law in order to prevent and suppress human trafficking especially in the fishery sector effectively, quickly, and justly. We also are committed to look after, protect and provide redress for the victims of human-trafficking in accordance with the international standard.