17 May 2018

Uganda: 40 Ugandan Women Rescued in Thailand

Photo: This Day
(File photo)

Over 40 Ugandan women have been rescued from a human trafficking racket in a Wednesday sweep in Thailand by Thai authorities.

The girls were reportedly enroute to several Asian countries of Brunei, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam where they are used as sex slaves.

The head of the Thailand Anti Trafficking in Persons Task Force (TATIP), Lt Gen Jaruvat Vaisaya said the rescue mission was one of the biggest in recent years and that Ugandans were the majority among those rescued.

Earlier this month, Thailand immigration authorities took into custody a Ugandan national said to be the 'grandmother' of human trafficking of Ugandan women into the Thailand sex industry, and a reported 'under boss' who was once a human trafficking victim herself.

According to aecnewstoday, a Thai news site, the 'grandmother' of human trafficking of Ugandan girls also known as 'Sadaa', a Ugandan was arrested from her Bangkok apartment after 23 Ugandan women were taken into custody during a sweep by police and immigration authorities along Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok on May 7, 2018.

"She's [Sadaa] a serious operator. She was the pioneer. Everything to do with the trafficking of Ugandans (men and women) into Thailand for sexual exploitation stated with her", a source told aecnewstoday.com.

Lt Gen Vaisaya is quoted as saying that from the Wednesday sweep, seven Ugandan human trafficking victims have returned home, while others are currently at the immigration department International Detention Centre in Bangkok to assist police in investigations.

"I've been ordered to shutdown human trafficking into and through Thailand. The prime minister has made this a national agenda item and we intend to make sure the goal is achieved. There will be no more using Thailand for the terrible crime of trafficking people", he said.

Lt Gen Vaisaya said that the women are promised high paying jobs in Thailand and are even given money before they are convinced to leave Uganda.

"Once they get to Thailand they are told there is no job, the money they were given at home and any other money they have is taken away from them...They are also told they have a debt to pay; sometimes this is up to $40,000 (Shs 148m) even before they do any work. How can they ever pay that?" he said.

As we earlier reported this week, the United Arab Emirates summoned Uganda's ambassador Nimisha Madhvani who is said to have been the source of the April 18 comments by MPs about the UAE government which they accused of overseeing slavery and trafficking of Ugandans.

Nimisha has since been recalled back to Kampala. About 16 girls reportedly committed suicide in a space of seven months after being subjected to torture in UAE last year.

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