Sangkhlaburi (Mizzima) – Local 88-Generation student activists have filed a complaint against a village head in Myeik District accusing him of human trafficking, according to the district’s student leaders.
The group said they filed a complaint two months ago, but the authorities have not taken any legal action. The group said the village head reportedly tried to "sell" 20 villagers in an employment transaction without their consent.
Ma Moe, one of the victims, said that the complaint was filed at the Myeik Township administrative office, the Myeik Township police station and other relevant offices.
“We filed the case with four or five offices in Myeik,” he told Mizzima.
The Myeik Township 88-generation students group said that the district chief summoned members of its group and told them not to file the complaint again and not to assist the victims in the case.
Tin Ko Ko Oo, an information official with the Myeik Township 88-Generation students group, said, “The district chief Lwin Ko Oo clearly warned [us]. He summoned us and rebuked us that if their administration is disturbed, they will sue anyone who disturbs them.”
The case involved 20 villagers, both male and female, from Myeik Taung village, and an offer to employ them at a palm oil garden in Yaymyitkyi Nandawyar village, Kyunzu Township, in Taninthayi Region.
The activist allege that the village head instead took the villagers to an area controlled by the Karen National Union [KNU] on Aug. 12 and tried to arrange to “sell” them to another area.
Activists said the victims included nine females (aged 15 to 43) and 11 males; seven out of the 20 victims are under 18, according to Kyaw Thaung, the oldest victim.
Su Myat Moe, another victim, told Mizzima, “We were covered with waterproof canvas and taken to the place by car. At that time, they said that they would provide a secure accommodation for us. But when we arrived there, male and female had to stay together and the place was not secure.”
Later, the victims asked for help from KNU officials in the area, and the villagers said they left the area on Aug. 15.