Senior official transferred pending investigation into alleged interference in trafficking case

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The Deputy Director General of the Department for Children and Young People has been removed from his post, pending the outcome of an investigation into an allegation that he obstructed a police investigation into a human trafficking ring, which forced underage girls into prostitution.

The official was accused of phoning the supervisor of the shelter to ask him to convince the girls not to testify against some of the suspects, several of whom are local officials, teachers, army officers, former politicians , medical staff and the head of a savings cooperative.

Permanent Secretary for Social Development and Human Security Patcharee Arayakul said today (Friday) that the civil servant’s transfer to an inactive post in the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security does not mean that he loses his post.

She said she had already sent her officials to the southern province of Surat Thani to gather information on the alleged prostitution racketeering and alleged involvement of department officials.

Social Development and Human Security Minister Juti Krairiksh today said the case dates back to last December and an investigation lasted until April, when police managed to obtain testimony from nine alleged victims.

He insisted that the investigation was conducted quietly, as the ministry wants to protect the rights of underage girls.

The minister also said he has instructed inspectors general from six regions to visit youth shelters across the country to ensure that young residents are not sexually abused.

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