Appeals Court increases prison sentences for Rohingya human traffickers

The Appeals Court on Thursday upheld the convictions of, and lengthened the sentences for a former army general, several police officers and local officials all found guilty of trafficking Rohingya illegal migrants.

Former army advisor Lt-Gen Manas Kongpan and former Pol Sub-Lt Narathon Samphan, former deputy inspector of Ranong province, had their 27-year prison sentences extended to 82 years each.

Former Padang Besar mayor Banchng Pongphon in Songkhla province, former Padang Besar deputy mayor Prasit Lemlay and former Padang Besar councillor Asan Inthathanu each had one year added to their existing 78 years behind bars.

The Appeals Court also increased the jail terms for several other defendants, from 15 to 23 years to 38 to 82 years. Soe Naing, a Myanmar national however, had his 94-year prison sentence upheld.

Altogether 103 people were charged for their involvement in the trafficking of Rohingya migrants from Myanmar and their cruel treatment at a jungle camp near the Thai-Malaysian border.  Several Rohingya died in the camp and their bodies were buried nearby.

The trial began back in 2015 at the Criminal Court in Bangkok.


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