November 7, 2023
BANGKOK – Deputy National Police chief Pol General Surachate Hakparn visited Yangon on Monday and secured the assurance from Myanmar officials.
Surachate, also known as “Big Joke”, said he had visited Yangon to meet top Myanmar police officials to try to secure the release of the 164 Thais, who have been arrested and detained in Laukkaing Township in Shan state.
They were accused of being members of call-centre gangs.
Surachate said he had explained to the Myanmar authorities that most of the 164 were victims of human trafficking gangs, which had lured them and forced them to work for call-centre gangs.
The Myanmar authorities reportedly agreed to let Surachate take them home.
However, Surachate said Laukkaing is in an area to armed conflict, so he decided to repatriate them to the northern border to Kunming in China first and then fly them home from China.
Surachate said the Chinese government had approved his request to repatriate the 164 Thais across the Chinese border but he was yet to schedule the repatriation date with both the Myanmar and Chinese governments.