Human trafficking at Chiang Mai karaoke bar with underage girls
A karaoke bar in Chiang Mai Province has been shut down after officials from the Ministry of Labour and related agencies discovered girls under 18 working inside. The underage girls were alleged to be providing sexual services to customers. The bar is now being investigated for illegal activities related to human trafficking.
The raid came on Monday in the main city area of Chiang Mai. The name of the bar was not released and those arrested were identified only by their first names.
During the inspection, officials found an underage girl working inside the bar. The owners, 39 year old Rattikan and 44 year old Sunisa, were arrested on the spot and are now facing charges related to human trafficking.
Both owners admitted that they had been hiring girls under the age of 18 to work in the bar. The girls working at the karaoke shop have also been providing sexual services to customers.
Services were provided for the shockingly low price of 200 baht per hour. With the low fee for services, the girls were only being paid 120 baht per hour for sex services, while the bar keeps 80 baht as commission.
On a lesser charge, karaoke bar owners also admitted that they were operating the business from 7pm to 4am each night, remaining open after the legal closing time for bars.
Now the karaoke shop has been closed down and officials are setting their sights on other similar businesses in the area. They will continue investigating to uncover any other possible human trafficking in the area.
Thailand has been grappling with the issue of human trafficking for years. According to the Global Slavery Index of 2018, more than 600,000 people in Thailand are victims of human trafficking. The Exodus Road, an anti-human trafficking organisation, published an article on Human Trafficking in Thailand and revealed that there are mainly two forms of human trafficking in the country: forced labour and sexual exploitation.
Sexual exploitation of children is also prevalent in Thailand, with both male and female children being targeted. By shutting down businesses that play a part in this exploitation, officials hope to help more victims of human trafficking escape their situation.
Police have been stepping up their hunt for human trafficking in Thailand in recent months. In a sting operation last month, police found evidence of underage prostitution at Club 4, a go-go bar in Pattaya. Police ordered the closure of Club 4 – in Soi Bong Koch 8 in Nong Prue subdistrict, Bang Lamung district – for five years. A woman was arrested under suspicion of human trafficking.
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