Bangkok Police Cracks Down on Beggars from Laos, China, Cambodia

two individuals from Laos, two from Cambodia, and a child in the Soi Nana area in Bangkok on the night of 20 November 2023. (Photo: Khaosod)

In a recent move against begging in Bangkok, Thai authorities have apprehended beggars hailing from Laos, China, and Cambodia.

The crackdown resulted in the arrest of two individuals from Laos, two from Cambodia, and a child in the Soi Nana area on the night of 20 November. According to reports from Thai news media Khaosod, the detainees admitted to entering Thailand illegally with the intent of engaging in begging activities. 

Just two days prior, on 18 November, Bangkok police detained a Chinese woman, visibly injured, for begging in front of a Pinklao shopping mall. Authorities suspect her involvement in a human trafficking ring, given her monthly bank transactions amounting to THB 2 million (around USD 56,900). The individuals confessed to entering Thailand illegally to engage in begging activities, as reported by Thai news media 

Initially managing to evade capture by seeking refuge in a shopping mall restroom, the woman was eventually located by the police. Upon questioning and inspecting her belongings, authorities discovered a substantial amount of money, around THB 10,000 (approximately USD 284), presumably obtained through begging. Her passport was not found in her possession.

During the interrogation, the woman claimed she entered Thailand in early November to support her two sons in China and was unaware that begging was illegal in Thailand. She further stated that she had no fixed residence and slept wherever she could find shelter. However, evidence found in her bag, including keys and a key card, contradicted this assertion, according to the Nation Thailand.

Adding complexity to the case, another Chinese woman, purporting to be an interpreter, presented the beggar’s passport at the police station. She explained that she had been contacted to assist as an interpreter but had limited knowledge about the person who hired her. Despite lacking specific details, she was instructed to bring the beggar’s documents and clarify the situation to the police. 

These arrests are part of a broader crackdown on begging in Bangkok, with several Chinese beggars having been detained earlier this month.