Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Day in Child Trafficking


Photo Courtesy of Thairath

SONG KLA – Police arrested a Thai-Burmese mother who sold her one-day-old son to clear a 50,000 baht debt - the child was sold by the traders for a further 80,000 baht. The agency insisted they did it for the sake of the child. Meanwhile, the mother pulled a na├»ve expression and said she thought the people who bought her child would take care of the boy as though he were part of their own family.

Police major Phichet Jannu from Sadao police station in Song Kla arrested Miss Nan Laogan, 32-years-old, and Mrs. Narumon Phianthaisong, 37-years-old. Together, they were interrogated and charged with human trafficking.

From the interrogation, police learnt that while Miss Laogan was seven-months pregnant, she had met Narumon through a friend. The two became close and made a deal to sell the child after she gave birth. The mother did not have money to look after the child. Miss Laogan made a 50,000 baht deal to sell her child, hoping he would be taken care of. Narumon, feared that Laogan would change her mind, and continued to lend her money to lure her in: loaning 37,000 baht, plus 10,400 baht for birth hospital fees, totaling at 47,400 baht. Narumon also charged Miss Laogan for caretaking fees of 300 baht per day until the birth of the child.

On August 17th, Narumon had taken Miss Laogan to give birth at Hat Yai hospital. Narumon stayed by Nan’s side the whole time, waiting for the baby. As soon as she gave birth, Narumon took the baby home with her. She was selling the baby to Mrs. Undy, a Malaysian, for 80,000 baht. However, police caught her beforehand after receiving an anonymous tip off.

Narumon herself had done this kind of trading several times before, selling babies to big traders and other well-paying individuals in Kuala Lumper. Narumon insisted she only did it for the children so they wouldn’t starve.

Miss Laogan defends her actions, saying she was not child trafficking because she believed that her child would have a better life.

Major Phichet charged both of them with illegal human trafficking. They will remain in custody until the court finalizes the case. The child has been sent to child protection services and is living in a welfare community in Song Kla.

Courtesy of Thairath

Writer: Adrian Tse & Chet Chetchotisak