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Senior labour official denies DSI’s allegation of human trafficking

Written by World Events

Labour Permanent Secretary, Pairoj Chotikasathien

Labour Permanent Secretary Pairoj Chotikasathien has categorically denied the Department of Special Investigation’s allegation that he was involved in the trafficking of thousands of Thai workers to Finland, to work as wild berry and strawberry pickers, and promised to cooperate with the DSI in its investigation.

The DSI has implicated two former Labour ministers and two senior officials in demanding 3,000 baht kickbacks from each of some 12,000 Thai workers going to work in Finland between 2020 and 2023. All four suspects have been charged with human trafficking and malfeasance in office.

Pairoj said that he has instructed the Department of Employment to gather all relevant information about Thai workers who went to work in Finland during that period, whether on their own or through employment agencies, the names of their employers or job agencies, how much each of them spent and whether they had paid the 3,000 baht kickback and to whom.

He disclosed that about 8,000 Thais went to work in Finland and Sweden in 2022 alone. Normally, each of them paid about 30,000 in service and travelling expenses, adding that many of them went there on their own, without the help of employment agencies.

The permanent secretary also said that he wants to discover the truth about this employment service to Finland, adding that he is willing to cooperate with the DSI in the investigation into the controversy.

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