Thai woman confesses to lying about ‘organ harvesting’ gang kidnapping

Woman confession
Image: Thai PBS
  • The Thai woman who was allegedly saved from a Chinese “organ harvesting gang” in Cambodia confessed that her story was entirely fake.
  • She reportedly lied to expedite her return to Thailand so that she could reunite with her Thai boyfriend.
  • The 25-year-old, whose name has yet to be disclosed, was charged for giving a false statement following her confession. If convicted, she could spend up to three years in prison and have to pay a fine of 6,000 Thai baht (approximately $179).
  • Prior to her confession, authorities and an investigative report discovered holes in her story, including the absence of records from the hospital where she claimed to have recovered after being saved.
  • The news of her false claims was confirmed at a joint Thai-Cambodian police conference on Friday.

The Thai woman who returned to her home country after supposedly being saved from a Chinese “organ harvesting gang” in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, earlier this month has confessed to fabricating the whole ordeal.

Thai deputy national police chief Pol Gen Roy Inkhapairote confirmed the news of the woman’s false claims at a joint Thai-Cambodian police conference on Friday. The media gathering was reportedly held to disprove the woman’s story.  

After extensive questioning, the 25-year-old woman from Bangkok confessed that she made up the entire story about being saved just moments before a gang of Chinese organ harvesters could operate on her in Cambodia. Prior to her confession, the Khmer Times ran an investigative piece that was later corroborated by the Thai police. 

Speaking to investigators, the woman confessed that she lied to expedite her return to Thailand in the hopes of reuniting with her Thai boyfriend. The woman, whose name has yet to be disclosed, has been charged for giving a false statement following her confession. If convicted, she could spend up to three years in jail and have to pay a fine of 6,000 Thai baht (approximately $179). 

Even before the confession, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief had already expressed their doubts, calling the woman’s story “baseless” and “implausible.” Investigators reportedly checked the hospital where the woman supposedly recovered after being rescued, but there were no records of her.

The Khmer Times’ investigative piece also shed light on the inconsistencies in her story.

How did the taxi driver know where she had escaped from that he took her, in an unconscious state, back to her starting point?” officials told the publication. “The fact is that there are thousands of people working in the illegal online and scamming industry. Many of them… without making such frivolous and outrageous claims when they find themselves unable to perform whatever tasks they were hired to do.”

According to the woman’s claims, she was allegedly tricked into working at a Chinese-operated call center in Cambodia, which later turned out to be a scam operation targeting Thai people. She said she was tortured after refusing to cooperate before she escaped her captors and hired a taxi driver to bring her to safety in Poi Pet on the Cambodia-Thailand border. The driver reportedly told the woman he had to stop to pick up another man, then suggested resting at a hotel. 

The woman told Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn that the last thing she could recall was falling unconscious at the hotel. She claimed to have eventually woken up inside a room near the Vietnam border, surrounded by what she described as surgical equipment.

The alleged victim was saved in the nick of time by Cambodian authorities. She was then rushed to the hospital, where she supposedly spent days recovering before her return to Thailand on March 9.

The woman’s story has reportedly hurt the reputation of Cambodia, especially Sihanoukville, a city described as “a melting pot which has seen the most development in the past several years,” Preah Sihanouk Provincial Police Chief Major General Chuon Narin told the Khmer Times.

Something like this should not have happened,” Narin added. “True or not, the story has caused fear about living in Sihanoukville and Cambodia as a whole.”

The Cambodian Special Branch Police Commissioner also denied the woman’s claim that “there are more than 1,000 Thais being forced to work illegally in Cambodia, in prison-like conditions,” adding that they had earlier rescued four Chinese individuals who falsely claimed they were forced to work illegally in the country.

Image: Thai PBS

 

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