Thailand arrests more than 100 over crackdown abuses
Feb 2, Bangkok: More than 100 people have been arrested in a crackdown on abuses in Thailand's multi-billion dollar seafood industry, media reports said.
Last April the European Union threatened to boycott the industry unless it tackled illegal fishing and allegations of human trafficking.
On Monday, police said a taskforce set up since had investigated 36 cases and also rescued 130 trafficking victims.
Thailand is the world's third largest exporter of seafood.
Human rights groups have long highlighted abuses in the Thai industry, saying it is reliant on illegal fishing practices and overfishing, and involves trafficked workers from neighbouring countries who, they say, work in conditions akin to slavery.
Deputy National Police Chief Thammasak Witcharaya said that in the 16 months prior to the task force being set up only 15 cases were investigated, insisting that the crackdown had intensified.
He added that nearly all of the 102 suspects arrested were prosecuted and 36 sent to prison.
The Oslo Times