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Rangsiman Rome Leads Daring Rescue of 12 Moroccan Nationals Trapped in Myanmar

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Army vehicles rolled down a rugged road along the vibrant Thai-Myanmar border, stretching from Phob Phra to Tha Song Yang district in Tak on a serene March morning in 2024. The scene was picturesque, adorned with the sight of military patrols maintaining a watchful eye over the borderlands. (Photo: Wassana Nanuam)

In a dramatic turn of events, twelve Moroccan nationals, who had been lured by a nefarious call center syndicate and trapped in the heart of Myanmar, were finally liberated and welcomed into Thailand on a fateful Friday. The Moroccan embassy in Bangkok had raised the alarm, urgently appealing to the Thai government and relevant authorities to rescue 21 Moroccans held hostage in Myawaddy district. These unfortunate souls had been ensnared by ruthless scammers who had spun a global web of deceit.

Rangsiman Rome, a member of the Move Forward Party and the chairman of a House committee on state security, spearheaded the audacious rescue mission. His impassioned plea stirred the army into action. With swift coordination and delicate negotiations with the captors, the army managed to secure the freedom of 12 individuals. Unfortunately, seven others had only gained their release after ransoms were paid, and two steadfastly refused to abandon Myawaddy.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the army,” stated Mr. Rangsiman with palpable relief. “Without their valor and determination, the rescue of the Moroccans would not have been possible.”

The army, in a subsequent statement, recounted the rescue’s intricate details. Upon receiving a desperate plea from Mr. Rangsiman, they engaged with various foundations and NGOs, ultimately discovering that the 21 victims were held captive in a casino just across the border from Phob Phra district. Reaching out to the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, the Thai military enlisted their help in negotiating with the casino’s proprietors. Through these efforts, the 12 Moroccans were rescued and safely transported to Thailand by 10 am on that momentous Friday morning.

Reports from earlier in the year had indicated that the Moroccan embassy had fervently written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the army, the Department of Special Investigation, and even the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok on May 17, seeking urgent assistance. With no tangible results, the embassy escalated their appeals to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Fair Party MP Kannavee Suebsang.

Exodus Road, an anti-human trafficking group, shed light on the victims’ plight. These Moroccan citizens had been allured with promises of well-paying e-commerce jobs in Thailand, boasting an enticing starting monthly salary of approximately US$1,000 (36,000 baht). Instead, they found themselves forcibly thrust into call center drudgery, manipulated into deceiving their compatriots back in Morocco into parting with their money.

Commentary: Tackling the scammers at the border

The cross-border scamming operations reveal an insidious underbelly of human trafficking and deceit. As borders blur and technology advances, unscrupulous individuals prey on the dreams and aspirations of unsuspecting victims. These recent events underscore the critical need for international cooperation and vigilant enforcement to dismantle such criminal networks.


  1. Chris M. July 5, 2024

    This just shows that the world really needs to crack down on human trafficking! Kudos to Rangsiman Rome and the Thai army for their brave efforts.

    • Dana July 5, 2024

      Absolutely! But we also need to question why it took so long for the authorities to act. Seems like they were dragged kicking and screaming into this.

      • LarryD July 5, 2024

        It’s complicated. Governments can’t just waltz into another country and start making demands. Diplomacy takes time.

  2. Elaine T. July 5, 2024

    Why did only 12 get rescued and not the full 21? This half measure is unacceptable when lives are at stake!

    • R. Murthy July 5, 2024

      From what I read, it seems the rest had ransom demands or didn’t want to leave. We shouldn’t judge without understanding every aspect.

      • Elaine T. July 5, 2024

        But shouldn’t the focus be on getting everyone out no matter what? Whatever it takes?

      • grower134 July 5, 2024

        That’s easier said than done. These operations have tons of logistical nightmares.

  3. JustMe July 5, 2024

    How naive to think you can trust random job offers abroad. People need to be more skeptical!

    • Salma July 5, 2024

      That’s victim-blaming. Desperation can make people grasp at straws.

    • Ahmad July 5, 2024

      Right, people from struggling economies often see these as their only chance for a better life.

  4. ProfessorQ July 5, 2024

    This situation highlights yet another example of how global inequalities and the failure of democratic institutions facilitate human trafficking.

    • KatieP July 5, 2024

      I agree. And we need more international cooperation and legal frameworks to combat these issues effectively.

    • Micheal L. July 5, 2024

      Easier said than done. Nations have their own priorities and political agendas.

  5. Johnny P.21 July 5, 2024

    The Moroccan government needs to take more responsibility too. They can’t just rely on foreign entities for rescue missions.

    • F. Ali July 5, 2024

      True, they have a role to play. But sometimes smaller nations don’t have the clout to pressure others diplomatically.

    • Johnny P.21 July 5, 2024

      Then they need to build those capabilities! This can’t keep happening.

  6. Samantha White July 5, 2024

    It’s both heartbreaking and relieving to read about their rescue. Any idea what happens to the victims now?

    • Chris M. July 5, 2024

      They’ll likely receive medical and psychological help first, then repatriation. But the long-term impacts can be tough.

    • Samantha White July 5, 2024

      Hope they get all the support they need. Experiences like this can leave scars.

  7. EcoWarrior July 5, 2024

    Interesting how the army coordinated with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army. Why doesn’t mainstream media cover these alliances more?

    • Tom G. July 5, 2024

      Such alliances can be politically sensitive. But yes, it’s a fascinating dynamic that needs more coverage.

  8. Rachelle July 5, 2024

    The root of the problem is the socioeconomic conditions in Morocco. Fix that, and maybe people wouldn’t be so desperate to leave.

  9. GlobalNomad July 5, 2024

    Focusing on just the rescue is short-sighted. When are we going to address the global economic imbalances that cause these situations?

  10. Nick P. July 5, 2024

    And what about the call centers? Seems like no one’s talking about shutting those operations down for good.

    • Simone V. July 5, 2024

      Absolutely. Cutting the head off the snake is essential here.

    • Nick P. July 5, 2024

      Without follow-up, we’re just going to see more of the same story next year.

  11. Yuki July 5, 2024

    I think it’s amazing how community and global forces came together for this rescue. Gives me hope.

    • Roberto July 5, 2024

      Yes, but it also shows how fragile current systems are. One slip-up and someone could get hurt again.

  12. Liam T. July 5, 2024

    Lots of praise going to the Thai army, but I want to know why the Moroccan embassy didn’t take bolder steps initially?

    • Pauline July 5, 2024

      Embassies have limitations too. They likely did all they could within diplomatic bounds.

  13. Henrietta J. July 5, 2024

    What about Myanmar’s role? Their lack of control in the area is appalling.

    • Zach July 5, 2024

      Sadly, Myanmar has bigger internal issues, but yes, regional security should be a priority.

  14. Sam July 5, 2024

    Can’t believe people still fall for these online job scams. But then again, not everyone has that awareness.

    • Lisa R. July 5, 2024

      Education on scam awareness needs to be more widespread. It’s the key to prevention.

    • Sam July 5, 2024

      True, but who’s responsible for spreading that education?

  15. Anna July 5, 2024

    Whose fault is it here – the scammers, the authorities, or the victims for being gullible?

  16. M. Kumar July 5, 2024

    There needs to be a more streamlined way for international swift actions in such scenarios. Bureaucracy often hinders timely rescue.

  17. Zara_foodie July 5, 2024

    Sad to see human lives being treated like pawns in a chess game of politics and crime.

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