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Key Suspect in EJF Human Trafficking Investigation Arrested

Gemma Hyland
13 August 2013, at 1:00am

THAILAND - The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) welcomes the news that the key suspect in their investigation into human trafficking and human rights abuses in Thailands seafood industry has been arrested.

EJF’s Sold to the Sea report and film, launched in May 2013, revealed evidence of human trafficking, labour abuse and the routine use of violence and murder to control workers on fishing vessels.

Sold to the Sea: Human Trafficking in Thailand’s Fishing Industry documented severe human rights abuses associated with human trafficking and included the testimonies of Burmese workers, as young as 16, trafficked in to Thailand and forced on to fishing vessels where, until their rescue months later, they were subjected to arduous, often violent, working conditions without pay.

Four of the 14 trafficking victims who were rescued from a port in Kantang, and interviewed by EJF investigators earlier this year, identified an individual named Ko Myo as the leader of a trafficking gang operating in southern Thailand’s Trang province.

This week, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) media organisation reported that the Royal Thai Police and Department of Special Investigation (DSI) have arrested Ko Myo, following the capture of one of his aides on 31st July. One further individual was reportedly arrested on Tuesday 6 August.