6 June 2024

An investigation into the six Chinese beggars recently arrested in Bangkok has revealed that some had previously worked as beggars in Malaysia and Singapore, according to a senior Thai immigration police official on Monday.

Deputy Immigration Police Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Phanthana Nuchanart also stated that there was no connection found between the Chinese group and a Thai woman who was found acting as their translator.

The arrests occurred at a Pinklao shopping complex and in crowded tourist venues. The police confiscated a bag containing Thai banknotes, totalling about Bt10,000. Many Thai netizens noted that their reported incomes were much higher than theirs.

Phanthana quoted those arrested that, at the end of a day of begging, they would exchange the money into Yuan and deposit it into their Chinese currency bank accounts.

Some people expressed concerns about the possibility of human trafficking rings moving the beggars from one place to another. Questions were raised about whether these gangs may have inflicted injuries on the beggars, to evoke sympathy and to encourage people to give them money, as most of the six arrested had facial and bodily burn scars.

Phanthana mentioned that they claimed to have acquired these injuries in China. The deputy commissioner said that the six individuals have already been deported and blacklisted from entering Thailand again.

In recent crackdowns on foreign beggars in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Phuket, police arrested 33 people, including 27 Cambodian, two Chinese, two Myanmar and two Russian nationals. They will be deported and listed as persona non grata.

Phanthana emphasised the need for a careful approach in handling the crackdown on beggars, as many foreign tourists visiting Thailand have disabilities.