Bangkok (dpa) – A US citizen of South Korean descent was arrested in
Thailand for smuggling North Koreans into the country, an immigration
official confirmed Wednesday.
Isaac Byungdo Lee was arrested Monday in Nong Khai province, along
the Thailand-Laos border, 620 kilometres north-east of Bangkok.
A pick-up truck belonging to Lee was found in the vicinity of several
North Koreans who were believed to have entered the country
illegally, said Police General Panlop Suriyakul na Ayutthaya, chief
of the Nong Khai Immigration Bureau.
Lee, a Christian missionary, allegedly has a history of helping North
Korean refugees enter the country before directing them to the
South Korean embassy or facilitating their journey to the United
States through Christian networks.
Lee was being held in the city of Sri Chiang Mai while awaiting trial
on charges of human trafficking, Panlop said.