PHOTOS: The Nation
“Pearl was accused of being the gang leader as he owns the Dream Disco Pub on the fourth floor of the Zenith Hotel where the four victims were forced into prostitution from October 2016 to March 2017.”
A 46 year old Australian has been sentenced to 19 years imprisonment by the Criminal Court, and a Syrian, two Thais and a Moroccan to 16 years imprisonment, for forcing four Moroccans into prostitution at a Bangkok pub.
The court read its verdict in the human trafficking case against 46 year old Michael Pearl, a Sudanese-born Australian, 37 year old Ghassan Wakej, a Syrian, 63 year old Chalad Narachan, 46 year old Aree Iamsaree and 38 year old Hana Taoyuree (unofficial spelling), a Moroccan, yesterday morning.
They were charged with violating the anti-human trafficking act, prostitution suppression act and the Criminal Code.
Pearl was accused of being the gang leader as he owns the Dream Disco Pub on the fourth floor of the Zenith Hotel where the four victims were forced into prostitution from October 2016 to March 2017.
Taoyuree was charged with luring and smuggling the four fellow Moroccan women into Bangkok via Laos by promising them job as waitresses, but they instead ended up being forced into prostitution. The two Thai men and the Syrian were charged with detaining and assaulting the four victims to force them into prostitution.
After the four victims were rescued, two left the Kingdom to return to Morocco, while the two others remained as state witnesses. The five defendants were released on bail by posting a 300,000 baht cash guarantee. They came to hear the verdict on Wednesday morning.
Zenith Hotel in Sukhumvit, Bangkok
The court ruled that the five lacked strong evidence to dispute the charges against them and relied on their own accounts, while the public prosecutors had strong evidence and accounts from the victims.
The court found each of the five defendants breached two counts of the Criminal Code and were given two years term for each count, or four years. Each of the five defendants were also given six years in prison for breaching each of two counts of the anti-human trafficking act, or 12 years.
Since the Australian owned the pub, he was also convicted of violating the prostitution suppression act by soliciting others for sex services. He was given an additional three years for this conviction. Pearl was given a total of 19 years in jail, while the others got 16 years.
STORY: The Nation
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