CAMBODIA / THAILAND: Khmer gang mutilates children and use them as beggars

Summary: Police are hunting a barbaric gang that allegedly cut off Cambodian children’s tongues and removed their larynxes before forcing them to beg in Pattaya.

[21 March 2012] - A Pattaya Daily News journalist was informed by social and welfare officers who had detained a seven-year-old mutilated Cambodian boy (he could not say his name ), the boy had been mutilated: his tongue had been cut out and he had scars of backstreet surgery on his neck. It looked like his larynx had been removed.

This boy was arrested while he was roaming around in Pattaya begging for money.

The officers brought the boy to the children's welfare centre last year. The boy was always tense and paranoid, he could not speak.

The officers from the national centre for prevention and suppression of human trafficking came to question him. They told the child to point at the answers written on the paper: “Yes” and “No” in Cambodian.

It was a tragic story. He had been a normal young boy in Cambodia. But when he crossed to Thailand. He was suddenly mute. He pointed to his cut tongue with terrified eyes. On his neck there was a mark of surgery, the size of a little finger which made the officer believe that they had removed his larynx.

The boy said that there were more boys of his age, also forced to work as beggers. They had all been handicapped, and their arms and legs had been cut off.

The gangs alledgedly abducted the children and cut off their tongues, arms, or legs to make them crippled and they would be easy to control and people would pity them and give them money.

The police have mobilised their forces to find the gang and arrest them.

Mr. Santi Prompat, the Minister of the Social Development and Human Security went to Hanoi, Vietnam to join the meeting of ministers in the Mekong region. Prevention of human trafficking or the third COMMIT meeting, with ministers from Cambodia, China, Burma and Vietnam participating. The meeting was held on February 15-16.

Mr. Prompat presented the case of the Cambodian beggar. He urged the concerned ministers to solve the problem [of human trafficking] as soon as possible.


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