Section Code: 0027 - 0032
The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act B.E 2551 (2008)
BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ, REX.
Given on the 30 Day of January B.E. 2551 (2008);
Being the 63rd Year of the Present Reign
Chapter 3: Powers and Duties of the Competent Official
For the purpose of prevention and suppression of the commission of the trafficking in persons, the competent official shall have the following powers and duties:
- to summon any person to give statements, or submit documents or evidence;
- to search the body of any person, with his consent, where there is a reasonable ground to believe that such person is a trafficked person, in case such person is a woman, the searcher shall be another woman;
- to search any conveyance with a reasonable ground to suspect that there is an evidence or a person falling the trafficked person therein;
- to enter any dwelling place or a premise, to search, seize or attach, when there is a reasonable ground to believe that there is an evidence of the commission of trafficking in persons, or to discover and rescue a trafficked person therein, and that by reason of delay in obtaining a search warrant, such evidence is likely to be removed, concealed or destroyed, or such person is likely to be assaulted, relocated or concealed.
When exercising the power under (4), the competent official must manifest that he has nothing concealed prior to the search as well as report reason and result of the search in writing to his superior. He shall also make a copy of such report and give it to the occupier of the searched dwelling place or premise. In case no one is there, the competent official shall deliver the copy of such report to the occupier as soon as possible. If the search takes place between sunset and sunrise, the competent official who leads the search must, at least, be a Chief District Officer, or a Deputy Superintendent, or an ordinary civil servant holding a position not lower than level 7. The competent official who leads the search shall submit a copy of report describing reason and result of the search to the Provincial Court having jurisdiction over the searched area or the Criminal Court within forty-eight hours after the completion of the search, as evidence.
In exercising the powers under (2) and (3), the competent official may order his subordinate to perform the duties thereof.
While performing the duties under this Act, the competent official may request the assistance from any person nearby, but will be unable to compel such person to assist if the danger may occur to him.
In performing the duties under this Act, the competent official shall present his identification card to the person concerned.
The competent official's identification card shall be in conformity with the form stipulated by the Minister as published in the Government Gazette.
In case of necessity for the benefit of fact clarification in relation to the trafficking in person and the security protection of a person, where there is a reasonable ground to believe that he is a trafficked person, the competent official may temporarily take such person into his custody, but the custody shall not be over twenty four hours. The custody of such person must be reported to the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, the Director General of the Department of Special Investigation, the Director General of the Department of Social Development and Welfare or the Provincial Governor, as the case may be, without delay.
In case of necessity for the custody of any person suspicious to be a trafficked person, to any extent longer than that provided in paragraph one, the competent official shall file a petition to the Court asking for a permission order. The Court shall grant permission for a period of not more than 7 days and may impose any condition upon such permission.
The custody of person suspicious to be a trafficked person according to this Section must be placed in an appropriate place which shall not be a detention cell or prison, in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Minister.
The performance of the duties under this Section shall take into account all human rights principles seriously.
In case where there is a reasonable ground to believe that any other document or information sent by post, telegram, telephone, facsimile, computer, communication device or equipment or any information technology media has been or may be used to commit offence of trafficking in persons, the competent official, approved by the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police or the Director General of the Department of Special Investigation or the Provincial Governor in writing, as the case may be, may submit an ex parte application to the Criminal Court or the Provincial Court of competent territorial jurisdiction asking for an order to permit him to obtain such document or information.
In granting permission under paragraph one, the Court shall consider the effect on individual rights or any other rights in conjunction with the following reasons and necessities:
- There is a reasonable ground to believe that an offence of trafficking in persons has been committed or is going to be committed;
- There is a reasonable ground to believe that an access to the information will result in getting the information of offence of trafficking in persons;
- There is no other appropriate or more efficient method.
The Court shall grant permission under paragraph one for each period of not more than 90 days and may impose any condition upon such permission. Any person involved in the document or information under such order is required to co-operate in compliance with the provision of this Section. After the permission, if it appears that the fact or a necessity is not as provided, or if there is any change in circumstances, the Court may change such permission order as appropriate.
While executing the Court order, the competent official may request any person to assist him in performing the duties. In addition, after the competent official has executed according to the permission, he shall make a report detailing the result of the execution and submit such report to the Court issuing the permission without delay.
The document or information acquired under paragraph one shall be kept and used only for the benefit of investigation and as evidence in the proceedings of trafficking in person offence, according to the regulations prescribed by the Minister.
In case of necessity for the benefit of prevention and suppression of trafficking in person, before entering a charge in the Court, the public prosecutor, by himself or by receiving a request from an inquiry official, may bring the trafficked person or a witness to the Court and file a petition specifying all the facts alleged to have been committed and the necessary cause why the testimony must be taken promptly.
In case the initiation to testify in Court is of the trafficked person or witness, after such person informed his intention to the public prosecutor, a petition to the Court shall immediately be filed by the public prosecutor.
When having received the petition under paragraph one or two, the Court shall take the testimony of witness promptly. During the testimony, if an interested person in the case files a petition to the Court citing a reason or necessity to cross-examine or to appoint a counsel for cross-examination, the Court may grant permission to do so when deemed appropriate and Section 237 bis paragraph three and four of the Criminal Procedure Code shall apply mutatis mutandis.
If the alleged offender is indicted later as a defendant with the charge of any offence stipulated in Chapter 1, the deposited testimony of the witness shall be used as evidence in the trial and in making decision of that case.
In performing the duties under this Act, the competent official shall be officials under the Penal Code.