Thai Authorities Arrest Suspect in Illegal Surrogacy Ring Smuggling Semen into Laos, Cambodia

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Thai Authorities Arrest Suspect in Illegal Surrogacy Ring Smuggling Semen into Laos, Cambodia
Theeraphong Chaisu, arrested by Thai police at a house in Nonthabouri, Thailand (photo: Thai rath)

Thai authorities have made a breakthrough in the fight against illegal surrogacy rings with the arrest of Theeraphong Chaisuk, a 33-year-old Thai national, on 23 February in Nonthaburi Province. The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) detained Theeraphong for his alleged involvement in a clandestine transnational surrogacy network, which involved smuggling semen into neighboring countries, including Laos and Cambodia.

Theeraphong stands accused of orchestrating the transportation of prohibited items, including human semen, eggs, and embryos, across international borders. Following his arrest, he admitted to smuggling frozen semen into Laos and Cambodia since 2014, with each trip involving around 100 tubes. In return, he received payments ranging from THB 10,000 to 15,000 (USD 277.76 – 416.64) per tube.

Although he denied being the mastermind behind the scheme, Theeraphong disclosed that the group chose clinics in neighboring countries due to the strict laws and regulations regarding donors and surrogates in Thailand. Also, surrogacy procedures are more affordable in Laos and Cambodia compared to Thailand, he added, according to the Thai police.

The investigation leading to the arrest began in 2017 when CSD officials discovered six tubes of human semen hidden in nitrogen tanks on a truck at the Laos-Thailand Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai Province.

According to a CSD briefing, the network exporting semen from Thailand was secretly supported by Chinese organized crime.

Pol Maj-General Montri Theskhan, the chief of the CSD, highlighted that this illegal surrogacy ring often employs Lao or Cambodian women as surrogates. The aim is for newborn infants to inherit the nationalities of the surrogate mothers, facilitating money laundering activities for Chinese nationals involved in illicit enterprises.

Montri emphasized that there are likely additional members of the gang operating within Thailand, and the authorities are committed to dismantling the operation entirely.