JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Thai police trafficking investigator seeks asylum in Australia: media

Thursday, December 10, 2015, 20:29 GMT+7

Thailand's former chief police investigator into human trafficking said on Thursday he is seeking political asylum in Australia, saying he fears for his life if he goes home.

Former Major General Paween Pongsirin arrived in Melbourne a few days ago on a tourist visa and said he planned to seek political refuge, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"There must be some place, some safe place for me," he said in an interview with the broadcaster. "I came here because Australia is a safe place."

Paween quit the police in November saying an order to transfer him to Thailand's south would expose him to revenge by members of trafficking syndicates still at large.

National police chief Jakthip Chaijinda said at the time Paween could have asked for protection but chose to resign instead.

"We issued 153 warrants across all areas and that included government officials ... I had to do just my duty, not to think of danger or trouble, but now I realise how dangerous it was," Paween said.

Thailand has indicted 88 people suspected of involvement in human trafficking since launching a nationwide investigation into gangs following the discovery in May of 30 bodies in graves buried near the Thailand-Malaysian border, which prompted an international outcry.

"He was brought in as a hard-nosed experienced investigator, someone who has a reputation for being incorruptible," Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch Asia told the ABC.

"He now feels it is no longer safe to stay in Thailand."

Australian government officials were not immediately available to comment on whether Paween had applied for asylum.

Reuters

More

Read more

Global spread of coronavirus raises pandemic fears

Italy sealed off the worst-affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news