Police have arrested a corn plantation owner for the execution-style slayings of five of his workers from neighbouring Burma, authorities said Monday November 19. Prayoon Kareeradej, 37, owner of the plantation, and a Thai employee were arrested Sunday (18 Nov) after police found the burned remains of five bodies, and surviving Burma workers identified them as the attackers, said Police Lt. Col. Teng Boonsong in Mae Sot, 380 kilometres northwest of Bangkok on the Burma border.
The wives of the five victims reported to police that their husbands had disappeared after being taken away from the plantation last 9 September
Police said that Prayoon and two other Thai men seised the five because they were angry that they had stolen five sacks of corn. They were handcuffed and shot execution-style in their heads, and two other Burma labourers were forced to burn their bodies at the site, Teng said.
Police said the third suspect was still being sought. The three could face the death penalty if found guilty.
More than 1 million Burma workers are employed in fishing, agriculture and other industries in Thailand, many of them living in substandard conditions and subject to abuse by employers.