Sattahip, February 21, 2012 [PDN] ; Pol. Col. Somchai Soonthavanik, Superintendent, Sattahip police station, Chonburi province was notified by the parents of the children in Suphanburi province that their sons and nephews had been tricked by a human trafficking gang.
The parents were told that they will find jobs for the boys but instead the boys were detained and forced to shave off their hair and dress like monks and wander around Greater Bangkok, the Eastern Seaboard and ask for alms.
The parents were contacted by their sons and nephews that they were beaten, drugged and forced to dress as monks.
Later the police inspects a hotel in Sattahip and finds a suspicious group of 11 novice monks. They claim that the money donated to them will be used for a temple construction in Huey Jit Nong Fai, Amphur Laokwan, Karnchanaburi province. Pol. Lt. Col. Niphon Pomsanarm and his team arrest the human traffickers and the 11 “novice monks” children are rescued.
The police also arrest the gang leader Mrs. Boonnipha Sripeangjan, age 48 address from 57/1 Moo 3, Amphur Bang Plama, Suphanburi province, Mr. Noppanan Deejit, age 29 address 225 Moo 1 Tambon Songpeuy, Amphur Khamkheunkaew, Yasothorn province, Mr. Thongchai, age 20 address 57/1 Moo 3 Tambon Krissana, Amphur Bangplama, Suphanburi province and Mr. Jaroon Onyam,age 54 address 27/7 Moo 2 Tambon Wangyao, Amphur Daanchang, Suphanburi province.
The police team confiscate one donation box, nine alms bowls, 11 robes, eight inner garments, one monk’s bag, seven sets of monk’s garments, two megaphones, donated cash: 11,460 THB, one Isuzu D-max pickup truck license number BOR JOR-7219 Angthong. One of the suspects: Mr. Thawat Boonloom, age 42 managed to escape.
The police finds 11 children in the room; Jakkarin Onyam age 12, Charoen Maneewong age 14, Tom Chaophuviang age 15, Nonthavat Onyam age 13, Wanchalerm Phewphongdee age 11, Mr. Surachai Chaodonkoon age 16, Mr. Vuthichai Hommaihai age 15, Surasak Sukkasem age 14, Neung Sukkasem age 13, Mr. Chaimongkol Prommanee age 17 and Mr. Nattaphol Ngernchalard age 17.
Pol. Col. Somchai Soonthavanick said that, after interrogating the children he found out that Mrs. Boonnipha Sripeangjan went to see their parents and relatives who were her debtors and said that she will take the children to work to clear their debts.
But when they arrived in Bangkok, she forced them to shave their heads, dress as monks wander around ask for money and alms. They were also forced to consume amphetamine tablets.
The children had to walk and ask for donations in many areas such as Sattahip market, South Pattaya market, Sahaphat market, Nongmon market, Saraburi market, Chantaburi market, Muangmai market Chonburi and Soi Udomsuk Bangna market.
If they could make 10,000 THB per day, they were allowed to go back and rest but if they could not reach the target they would have to work until late at night and would be beaten when they returned to their rooms.
The police charged the suspects with human trafficking of minors and other offences. All the suspects pleaded not guilty.