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Thai cop charged as human smuggler

AFP-JIJI

A policeman has been charged with trafficking after a Rohingya woman was allegedly lured from a shelter in southern Thailand and subsequently raped by a man from the refugee Muslim minority, police said Friday.

It is believed to be the first time a Thai official has been charged with trafficking of Rohingya boat people, despite probes into alleged people smuggling by authorities including the army.

The officer is accused of driving the 25-year-old victim along with her daughters, aged 12 and 9, and two other women, from the shelter in Phang Nga in late May.

The woman was told she would be taken to Malaysia to be reunited with her husband, who is also from the minority group, but was instead held at several places in the region in an ordeal lasting several weeks, police said.

The woman was allegedly raped repeatedly by the Rohingya man, who is believed to have worked as a translator at the shelter and has been charged for the assault.

The victim and her children were found on a roadside and returned to the shelter last week when she contacted the police.