Four arrested in Thailand for child sex trafficking operation

Picture courtesy of Wassayos Ngamkham

Four individuals implicated in child sex trafficking have been apprehended in Bangkok and Samut Prakan, according to a police announcement today. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) of the police force detained the two suspects. Criminal Court arrest warrants had been issued for the pair on September 6.

The suspects, 40 year old Noppadol Chanthong and 51 year old Khachaporn Khlainakpheuk, are accused of aiding and abetting human trafficking, deriving earnings from prostitution and coercing or enticing minors under the age of 15 into sexual exploitation. Two significant suspects, website administrator 41 years old Warit Wattanawongchai and website owner 41 years old Pheeraphon Jaensapsin were later detained by law enforcement as part of the sex trafficking ring.

The two men were also the subjects of arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court on September 14. Their charges include human trafficking collaboration, procuring children for prostitution, profiting from the sex trade, and depriving children of parental care and related transgressions, according to ATPD commander, Sarut Kwaengsopha.

Prior to these arrests, police had rescued two 15 year old girls who had been enticed into the sex trade. A sex trafficker, known only as Thanyaporn, was later arrested at a condominium on Rama II Road. Thanyaporn had reportedly tricked the two girls into selling sex at this condominium.

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The probe revealed that the sex broker had listed photos of minors on a website promoting sexual services, which demanded a monthly fee of 490 baht for advertising. Extra charges were applied for increasing page views, reported Bangkok Post.

Sarut said Thanyaporn had transferred funds to the website through a bank account owned by Khachaporn, who had been paid to open a mule account to receive payments from those advertising sex services. Her account received transfers of around 200,000 to 300,000 baht each month, with Noppadol being tasked with the withdrawal of the funds.

Khachaporn was arrested at her Dusit district residence, while Noppadol was apprehended at his Bang Khen district mansion, the ATPD commander informed. During interrogation, Khachaporn admitted to being paid 2,000 baht to open the mule account, while Noppadol confessed to being hired to withdraw money from the mule account, earning 1,000 to 2,000 baht from Warit each time.

Warit was later arrested at a housing estate in the Hua Mak region. He confessed to being the website’s administrator, which offered child sex services and controlled its finances. He earned a monthly remuneration of 60,000 baht for his part in the sex trafficking ring and also received a portion of the site’s advertising fees from owner Pheeraphon.

Pheeraphon was subsequently arrested at a luxury housing estate in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region province of Samut Prakan. Numerous photographs of young women and girls, victims of human sex trafficking, were discovered on his confiscated computers.

He admitted to owning the website and stated that he and Warit, who were close friends, had previously worked as online marketing personnel and event organisers before entering the online sex trade.

Pheeraphon admitted that he had hired a foreign programmer to build the website and had rented a server overseas to evade Thai authorities. He claimed to earn about 200,000-300,000 baht per month from advertising fees. All suspects are presently in police custody awaiting legal proceedings on the various sex trafficking charges.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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