PNP rescues 16 Thais from forced labor in Pampanga

The police on Saturday freed 16 Thai nationals who were allegedly forced to work in a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator company in Pampanga, Southern Police District chief P/Brig. Gen. Kirby John Kraft said yesterday.

The rescue at the Fontana Clark Freezone was hatched by the authorities after Minister Counsellor Kriteya Lepkao of the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila tipped off Kraft about the predicament of the Thai workers.

Lepkao informed the SPD official that the 16 were being coerced to work past their normal duty schedules without being given the corresponding overtime pay by their employer Shedaikeji Technology.

The passports of the Thai nationals taken by their employer will be turned over to the Thai Embassy tomorrow so the workers can already leave the country after refusing to press charges against the company.

Kraft said the operation was in line with the crackdown on illegal POGO firms operating in the country following their or their workers’ involvement in criminal activities like kidnapping and killings.

“The Philippine National Police, with the help of other participating agencies, has already started a crackdown against human trafficking and POGO-related activities,” Kraft said.

Those rescued were identified as Hasim Komonchanok, Iamphon Anucha, Mathsee Thaweeblamlerd, Khamwisu Darunee, Bunmachu Attaphon, Winai Noito, Sompong Sukyong, Wilaiporn Khasun,

Sungnum Pannipa, Khaivigit Kittipong, Yuwamongkol Therapon, Worapattananan Panupong, Chaikla Natthamut, Rachala Mattana, Siriwan Panta and Jiang Jun.

Multiple units from the SPD, National Capital Region Police Office and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group participated in the rescue operation, according to Kraft.

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