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20 Jul 2017


Thailand: Court convicts dozens, including former public officials, in landmark human trafficking case

"Thailand: Ex-General, Dozens Convicted in Landmark Human Trafficking Case", 19 July 2017

A Thai court convicted and sentenced a former three-star general and 61 other defendants...in Thailand’s largest human trafficking case, which stemmed from the discovery of graves of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis near the Malaysian border in 2015.

Former Army Lt. Gen. Manas Kongpaen was among high-profile defendants...who were found guilty. He was sentenced to 27 years... 

Manas’ conviction was based on evidence that he had received a kickback from trafficking kingpin Pajjuban Aungkachotephan, (alias Ko Tong), a former chief executive of the southern Thai municipality of Satun and businessman who was also convicted...

Ko Tong, or “Big Brother Tong,” owned resorts...and was accused of receiving trafficked persons and sending them to Malaysia.

Conviction on the crime syndicate charge carries a sentence of four to 15 years and a maximum fine of 300,000 baht (U.S. $8,927). Human trafficking charges carry a sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to 1 million baht ($29,759). Thai law calls for double punishment for government officials who are found guilty.