Maid Abuse Case Sparks Scrutiny of ISOC’s Recruitments

On Sunday, the opposition Pheu Thai Party demanded acting prime minister and Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC)’s director Prawit Wongsuwon tackle the agency’s patronage system.

Pheu Thai’s spokeswoman Areunee Kasayanont said the maid abuse scandal exposed the ISOC’s patronage system and cast doubt on whether the security agency’s taxpayer money spending was worth it.

“The question is how many other cases have existed? Who else should be held responsible for them?” she asked.

Ms. Arunee was referring to the recent case involving Pol Cpl Kornsasi Buayaem, 43, who made headlines after beating up and offering a 32-year-old maid a military job in exchange for forced labour and money.

Royal Thai Police (RTP) Special Branch Bureau Staff Division recruited Pol Cpl Kornsasi, 43, when she was only 39 years old despite the maximum age for the position being 35.

Pol Cpl Kornsasi first held a squad leader’s position before being transferred to the Special Branch Bureau’s 1st Division.

Earlier this year, she performed temporary duty for the ISOC’s Region 4 Forward Command of the Royal Thai Army.

However, a parliament panel has been appointed to verify whether her and the maid’s recruitment, and her assignment to the ISOC Region 4 Forward Command were legal.

Ms. Arunee said that General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s decision to extend the ISOC to up to 17 sub-units in 2019 drew criticism that it interfered with regional administrative organizations because a military officer was appointed to serve as provincial deputy governor for military affairs.

The Isoc attempted to justify the decision by citing international security affairs and involving most public administration areas.

Now that General Prawit has been appointed acting prime minister, he must know that an investigation into Isoc internal issues is inevitable and case-by-case probes are not reliable enough, Ms. Arunee added.

The Isoc must unveiled clear and accountable information on the number of soldiers, police officers and civilians working there for public scrutiny, hoping to eradicate the organization’s patronage.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) has asked the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to lead the police in the investigation against Pol Cpl Kornsasi to ensure impartiality, arguing that the case is much more serious because it involves abuse, human trafficking and forced labor.

The latter two violate the 2008 Trafficking in Persons Prevention and Suppression Act.