Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Amnesty Workers Sought By Police

ICC Note: Two men, one a former pastor, are sought for helping North Koreans reach freedom.
By Wassayos Ngamkham

5/29/07 China (Bangkok Post) Police are looking for a South Korean and a Thai working for a non-profit organisation for their possible involvement in the Underground Railroad that helps North Koreans escape to South Korea through Thailand .

No charges have yet been filed against Oh Sei-Woo and Supoj Pan-on of the Foundation for Life and Social Development. At this stage, they are wanted for questioning.
“When we contacted the foundation to invite Mr Supoj for questioning, he vanished. So did Mr Oh. They might have gone into hiding after police interrogated Mr Oh last month,” said chief of Chiang Saen district police station Surachai Tianchai.
Police became suspicious of Mr Oh, 57, who had often popped up at the station to volunteer his services as an interpreter.
With the Mekong river a convenient route for illegal entry, scores of North Korean immigrants were caught slipping into the province’s Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong districts.
North Koreans normally slip out of their country at the border with China , and travel by land to the river in China . From there, they go downstream by boat to northern Thailand and present themselves to authorities so they will be detained pending resettlement.
About 99% of deported North Koreans are sent to South Korea for settlement, according to Immigration Bureau statistics.
The National Security Council is looking for ways to stem the influx of illegal North Koreans.
Chiang Saen has become the main destination for them as it is the frontline of transport links between Thailand and southern China .
Pol Col Surachai said Mr Oh might have wanted to speed up the process of deporting illegal immigrants.
In questioning last month, Mr Oh said he previously taught the Christian religion in Seoul and now worked for the foundation in Muang district.
The foundation was set up by Mr Supoj in May 2001 with the objective of helping underprivileged children and people living with Aids and do other social work, according to a police investigation.
Mr Supoj and Mr Oh were not at the foundation’s office this week and no one else was able to comment.
Pol Col Surachai conceded it was a tough task to prove the two were helping asylum seekers. They might cite humanitarian concerns for their actions, which cannot be deemed illegal.
Police also are keeping a watch on restaurants which provided shelter to the refugees before their journey.