International Organization for Migration (IOM) completed the fourth and final iteration of its “Trainings on Interception of Smuggling Networks via Maritime Borders” with Thai Marine Police in Hat Yai, Songkhla province. This training concentrated on identifying and investigating migrant smuggling and Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases with a focus on victim care.
Effective border management and tackling transnational crime, including trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, are priority areas for Thailand, which shares land borders with Malaysia, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar.
IOM has worked closely with Thai Immigration Bureau, Tourist Police Bureau and Royal Police Cadet Academy since 2012. Under Phase IV of the IOM project “Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials” funded by the Canadian government, IOM expanded its cadre of training partners to include the Marine Police. The training activities under Phase IV of the IOM project aim to strengthen the capacity of Marine Police officials in intercepting trafficking and smuggling networks at Thailand’s maritime borders. Four 3-day trainings were organized in Sriracha province, Phuket province, Nongkhai province and Songkhla province training 100 Marine Police officials that patrol the waterways in these provinces.
“This training helped me gain knowledge of the differences between human trafficking and migrant smuggling. I was also able to increase my skills in operations, investigation, intelligence gathering, vessel inspection, and cooperating with relevant agencies,” said Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Teera Bunrod from the Songkhla Batch.
The trainings were designed to help Marine Police officers intercept and investigate cases of human smuggling, trafficking and other transnational crimes. The courses covered key areas such as the role of intelligence in Marine Police investigations, sources of information/informants, inter-agency/international cooperation, and Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) victim identification and assistance.
The participants also achieved the ability to clearly define both victims and perpetrators in TIP and SOM cases. “I can apply what I have learned in this training to my practical work,” added Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Sangsuree Punsiew from the Nong Khai Batch.