Seven people were arrested for allegedly having sex with underage girls in the southern province of Surat Thani. A 14 year old girl also faces human trafficking charges for allegedly enticing other teen girls into prostitution. With one of the suspects being the son of a politician, Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn, known as “Big Joke,” says all suspects will be charged accordingly, no matter who they are.
Police were called to a hotel in Surat Thani over a fight between two teenage girls. Police investigated and say they discovered a 13 year old girl was offering sexual services. Upon further investigation, officers found five other teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 16 who they say were tied up in the sex trade.
Officers arrested seven men on charges of sexually assaulting a child under 15 years old, abandoning a child aged under 15 years old from their parents for sexual purposes, bringing a child aged under 15 years old to commit sexual assault, and persuading, encouraging, or doing other things to lead a child to crime.
Police are still searching for another suspect. Big Joke added that officers believe there are many more suspects and victims as the teenagers have allegedly been offering sex to men for a year.
Big Joke says one of the teenagers later turned admitted to police that she lured other girls in to sex work. Officers say that although she was also a victim, she will face criminal charges for persuading the girls into prostitution. Five more girls said to be involved in sex work are now under the care of Surat Thani’s Social Development and Human Security.
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