After daughter kidnapped, Thai mother questions how a minor crossed the Padang Besar border without a passport | Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — The mother of an abducted daughter has expressed her fears about how easy it was for her estranged husband to allegedly smuggle their daughter across the borders of Thailand to Malaysia without proper documentation.

Thai national Anna Leelertwongpakdee through her lawyer Chen Yu Szen said she wonders if there are more human smuggling activities taking place every day at the Padang Besar border in Thailand after her husband Teh Chuan Kim brought their toddler Keilyn to Malaysia on April 17, 2023.

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“After nearly three months of tireless attempts to find Keilyn, Anna has now reached the point where she wants to find answers to her questions, how does Keilyn, a four-year-old minor, cross national borders without a passport?

“What steps have Immigration authorities taken to ensure that the proper documentation is in place so that minors like Keilyn can cross national borders safely?” Chen said Malay Mail in an interview yesterday.

“Does the failure of border security in Padang Besar mean that such cases are commonplace?” Chen added.

Malay Mail is seeking comment on the matter from the Immigration Department, the Home Ministry and the Thai embassy.

According to materials provided by Chen, Anna married Teh in 2015 and stayed in Subang and Klang for a short time before moving to Thailand in 2021. Keilyn was always with Anna during this time.

Then in November 2021, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dissolved their marriage and they were granted joint custody of Keilyn.

The agreement was that Teh would pick up Keilyn from Sunday to Tuesday 7pm, while Anna had to drop her off at school on Wednesdays and Thursdays. He will also stay in Anna’s care every Friday and Saturday.

According to Anna, this routine was broken on April 18, the day Teh was supposed to return Keilyn to her after her two-day visitation period. Anna accused Keilyn of kidnapping after Teh did not return the toddler to her on time.

According to the affidavits seen by Malay MailAnna said that she received a text message from Teh notifying her that he took her to Malaysia and when Anna called the number, Teh answered her and said that he would look after Keilyn and that Anna would not see her.

Anna continued to report to the police in Thailand and did the same in Sentul, pleading with the authorities to find her abducted son. He said he tried to go to an old address of Teh’s but no one was there.

He said he searched the CCTV footage in the lobby of his apartment and saw the last photos of Keilyn on April 16, 2023 with Teh and his in-laws at 8.09am in the lobby of their condominium with several bags apparently leaving the area. They were then spotted at the Songkhla Hotel around 6 to 7pm via its CCTV footage before apparently traveling to Malaysia.

On April 19, Anna submitted a request to retrieve her daughter’s travel history from the Immigration Department and to her surprise found that there were no records of her daughter leaving Thailand with Teh. However, records show that Teh traveled to Malaysia on April 17, 2023.

In addition to that, the 38-year-old mother obtained an interim injunction against Teh ordering him to return Keilyn to her three days from its issue on May 23, 2023. The court urged the police to do their best to help facilitate the injunction and for Keilyn to return to Thailand with Anna. The court said any future meetings between Keilyn and Teh would be held from 7 to 8pm for 30 minutes only while Anna supervised in Thailand.

In addition to making her police report in Sentul, Anna was told by the police that Teh had actually made a police report indicating that Keilyn’s passport had gone missing a few days before April 29, the day she made her report about her kidnapping.

“He was very concerned about Keilyn’s welfare because she is a toddler and should not be separated from her mother for long periods of time.

“We are pleading for anyone with any information about their whereabouts to inform the authorities so we can help find them as soon as possible,” Chen said.

The issue of child smuggling across the Malaysia-Thailand border was previously brought up in the case of Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi, whose ex-husband Muslim convert Muhammad Riduan Abdullah fled to Thailand with her youngest daughter Prasana Diksa.

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