Phetchabun karaoke bar raided for suspected child exploitation, owner arrested

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

Police conducted a raid on a karaoke bar in Phetchabun, arresting a 39 years old woman, for allegedly running a service offering underage girls catering to customers’ pleasures. The bar, advertised under the Facebook account E ลำยองโอ้ลั้นล้า, allegedly allowed teenagers under 18 years old to engage with customers in a salacious manner. The bar raid was conducted as part of an effort to combat child sexual exploitation.

Today, Police Lieutenant General Worawat Watnakornbuncha, Chief of Children, Juveniles, Women and Family Protection Division, commanded Pol. Lt. Gen. Rungroj Kuntajun, Head of the Anti-Sexual Exploitation Group, to lead the operation.

The team arrested the bar owner, Saovalak, on charges of human trafficking for sexual benefits in other forms, the establishment of a service station without permission, forcing, threatening, persuading, promoting, or consenting to the performance or action of a child with promiscuous characteristics, prohibiting employers from engaging in work with children under 18 years old between 10pm and 6am.

The operation stemmed from information provided by the Internet Child Protection Act, which had worked with local Phetchabun Police and the Emmanuel Foundation, which indicated the presence of such activities at a karaoke bar near Wat Botchanamarn, prior to reaching the iron scrap market in Sadieang sub-district of Phetchabun. Enquiries with an undercover operative also confirmed this, reported KhaoSod.

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The bar allegedly provided both drinks and salacious entertainment, such as hugging, kissing, fondling, and stimulating dances to its customers, allegedly with underage children without any restrictions from the proprietor or overseers.

Undercover operatives found underage female workers behaving inappropriately as previously reported, with Saovalak appearing to be the owner of the premises. Saovalak upheld that she had run the business for about a year, throughout which six girls had approached to apply as waitresses and sit-down drink servers. She also claimed that all inappropriate child exploitation customer services, such as hugging, kissing, fondling, and stimulating dances, were performed willingly by the staff, with the bar management having no knowledge or enforcement of such conduct.

Having arrested Saovalak, she was handed over to the Phetchabun city police for further legal proceedings for the alleged child exploitation in her bar.

Crime NewsNorthern Thailand News

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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