Brokers have threatened that they will kill all their 52 victims, who include five women, if the victims’ family members tell police that their relatives were trafficked from Arakan State and sold in China.
U Maung Than New, from Yay-Khaung-Chaing village in Myebon Township is close to some of the victims.
He said: “The broker called me on the night of 11 May. He said that if we villagers report to the police about these 52 human trafficking victims from our villages he will kill all the victims, then he hung up the phone. When we called back the number it did not work.”
The 52 victims are from Yay-Khaung-Chaing, Kywe-Na-Zuu, and Pauktu-Taung villages in Myebon Township. All of them were brought by the broker Hla Tun Tin who said he would send them to work in China on 1 April.
After Hla Tun Tin took the victims away their families in Burma lost contact with them. Other relatives who were already in China said that the 52 victims had not arrived as expected and that they had been trafficked in China.
Kywe-Na-Zuu one of the victims’ family members said: “We know that they have all been trafficked. Some family members are already crying with worry. Since the brokers said that they would kill all of them if we reported [the trafficking] to the police we are even more worried. Please, heads of the country help us in this case.”
Villagers have also found out that, apart from these 52 victims another 16 victims have been trafficked in China according to their relatives in China.
They are from Thayet-Chaung Village in Pauktaw Township and Ponna, Zinn-Khar, Taung-Pauk-Lay and Ngar-Tapaung villages in Kyauktaw Township.
Family members said that Thar Tun Oo, a broker from Thayet-Chaung village in Pauktaw Township, said he was taking the 16 victims to work in China in February.
U Tun Shwe Hla from Ponna Village in Kyauktaw Township, whose son was in the group of 16 victims said: “The victims realised [they had been trafficked] when they still had not received any salary after working for about two months in a furniture factory in Quonton Township in China. Later two men and a woman ran away from the factory and called to their family members in Burma, so we all know what happened, We cannot find or contact that broker anymore.”
Family members of the 16 victims reported the case to Kyauktaw Police Station on 12 may, but the police would not accept the report and refused to look into the case using the excuse that the family members had not given them enough information.
According to a statement made by the Arakan government’s Arakan State Anti-Human Trafficking Unit there was a case of 22 people from Myebon and Am townships being sold in Thailand in 2014.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI