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BANGKOK 17 February 2019 05:37
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Alleged con woman “Ying Kai” breaks down after being cleared of human trafficking

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Woman breaks down after being cleared of human trafficking

By KESINEE TANGKHIEO 
THE NATION

 

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THE COURT of Appeals on Tuesday acquitted alleged con woman Monta “Ying Kai” Yokratanakan from the human trafficking lawsuit in which she was accused of employing three young women to work as her servants without pay or days off from 2006-2010.

 

The primary court had sentenced her to three years in prison and ordered her to pay Bt590,000 in compensation. 

 

The 61-year-old Monta, who was taken to court from Central Women’s Correctional Institute where she had been since her arrest in 2016, broke into tears upon hearing the acquittal and prostrated herself in front of the court in gratitude.

 

She still has to serve a total of “14 years and 12 months” behind bars over two separate lese majeste offences, each carrying a jail term of seven years and six months, as per the court verdicts on June 6, 2017 and January 29, 2018. Those charges arose after she claimed on multiple occasions to be a royally appointed khunying. 

 

Regarding the human-trafficking charge, the Court of Appeals considered the primary court’s verdict on October 19, 2017 over Monta’s alleged offences committed against Mae Hong Son teen Kanchana Ponglarpsunthorn. She had been accused of seizing the-then 16-year-old’s national ID card, failing to pay her a Bt6,000 monthly salary and reneging on her promise to fund a scholarship for her to study at a nursing college. 

 

Complaints filed by two other former maids – Dalin Lakham, then 19, and Kwanjira Jirasakulchokchai, then 17 – had already been dismissed by the primary court due to insufficient evidence. 

 

The primary court ruled that Monta had seized Kanchana’s ID card in order to treat her as forced labour, in violation of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2008. 

 

The Court of Appeals, however, didn’t think that Monta’s treatment of the teenager fell within the bounds of human trafficking. Kanchana and the two other maids lived in Monta’s condominium and split among themselves the house chores and the care of Monta and her child. Therefore, it said, Kanchana had not been subjected to hard labour. 

 

Kanchana also admitted that Monta had from time to time given her Bt1,000 spending money, a cell phone and Bt2,000 to fund trips to her hometown. She had also allowed her to run some personal errands for her and occasionally taken her along on her own provincial trips. These all showed that she had some freedom, was not detained and was not subjected to harm, the Court of Appeals said.

 

Therefore, having decided that Monta’s actions did not constitute a human-trafficking offence as per the Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2008, the Court acquitted her and said she didn’t need to pay the previously ordered compensation to Kanchana. 

 

Another, similar human-trafficking lawsuit, in which Monta was accused of luring a 16-year-old Mae Hong Son girl to work as her maid in May 2008-November 2010, also resulted in the primary court acquitting Monta, on December 1, 2017.

 

Full story: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30363997

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-13

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1 hour ago, sweatalot said:

Thanks God for the lese majeste law. 

(in cases like this)

Yes in cases like this, i still think the court is right its not human trafficking. But they should have made her pay compensation. That would have hurt a lot.

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21 minutes ago, KMartinHandyman said:

14 years and 12 months. Maybe the writer gets paid by the word.

The statement was in quotes, dummy.

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I remember when the case first hit the news and it was reported that she had claimed one of the maids had stolen from her and the police had locked the maid up without filing any charges based on her say-so. At the time the police said that they would investigate and report within 30 days and any policeman involved would be disciplined.

 

Turned into an awfully long 30 days.

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3 hours ago, robblok said:

Yes in cases like this, i still think the court is right its not human trafficking. But they should have made her pay compensation. That would have hurt a lot.

The compensation because of not paying enough should go via the labor department on a separate case.

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4 hours ago, P Funk said:

The statement was in quotes, dummy.

He is from Italy. They never say 1 year 6 monthes they say 18 monthes. 24 monthes not 2 years

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I really don't care for that particular law and think it is wrong every time, but...i find it no surprise, that a rich hi-so person gets cleared of "human trafficking", when the accuser is a minority!

Sickening, really!

🤮 

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5 hours ago, robblok said:

Yes in cases like this, i still think the court is right its not human trafficking. But they should have made her pay compensation. That would have hurt a lot.

Unless you're an expert in trafficking law, I doubt your opinion on whether or not it is trafficking is relevant. Just because the woman had freedom of movement at various times doesn't mean she wasn't co-erced to stay by other means. 

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