NEWS: Arrested Thai woman turns out to be women trafficker

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Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 08:57:48 -0800 (PST)


Arrested Thai woman turns out to be women trafficker
By Tahir Siddiqui
Dawn News Service (DAWN.com)

KARACHI, Nov 23: A Thai woman, who was arrested in Karachi by the Federal
Investigation Agency early this month, is the matriarch of a Bangkok-based
syndicate involved in the smuggling of sex workers, mainly Chinese, to the
North America and Europe.

Investigations conducted by the FIA's Passport Cell revealed that Srisumran
Wattanasiri was a well-known "alien smuggler" and she had attempted to
smuggle several sex workers to the United Kingdom, who were disguised as
members of a tour group.

Sources said the Thai woman, tracked down and arrested on Nov 3 in a local
hotel during the course of an investigation in another case, had been
identified as an important member of the syndicate by the US authorities in
1996.

Earlier, they said, her syndicate had successfully smuggled dozens of Thai
sex workers to underground brothels in the United States in 1994 and 1995.
Her son was arrested and sentenced in New York in this case, they said.

The sources said the Bangkok-based flesh traders were using some South
Asian cities, including Karachi and New Delhi, as organizing points for
entry of sex workers into the United States and Canada. Early this month
two women from China, holding photo-changed (photo-substituted) Thai
passports, were intercepted at New Delhi when they reached the airport to
board a New York-bound flight.

According to the sources, the syndicate was involved in altering and
impostoring the passports of Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Thailand
for smuggling the sex workers to North America and Europe.

Srisumran Wattansiri was arrested by the FIA's Passport Cell after the
investigators, on a tip-off, visited a local travel agency where she had
submitted four forged Singaporean passports for issuance of airtickects for
Toronto for her clients, all nationals of China.

The four intending immigrants - Wang Jian Tian, Wang Zhi Qiang, Chen Yiqin
and Lin Jian Moi - were examined by the FIA investigators who found that
the four were also holding valid and genuine Chinese passport and had
entered Pakistan with entry visas issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Bangkok.

During the questioning the intending immigrants told the investigators that
the forged Singaporean passports had been arranged by Srisumran
Wattanasiri. Apart from this group of four, another six Chinese, four women
and two men, were also staying at the same hotel. This group was brought
from Bangkok by Laotian Sae Lao, who was also arrested by the FIA.

The sources said the woman disclosed that she and Laotian Sae Lao were
partners and they brought Chinese to Pakistan for sending them to Toronto
on fake documents.

All the intending immigrants were the residents of Changle City in China.
They said they had paid 1,000 US dollars each to a local agent in China,
while 2,000 dollars was to be paid by their families once they arrived in
the United States.

On April 2 they were convened at Manning City, Guangxi province, and were
transported to Hochi Minh City in Vietnam by a bus. They were taken to
Bangkok by a boat and later they left for Karachi by a PIA flight. They
were received by Srisumran Wattansiri and Laotian Sae Lao at the Karachi
airport.


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