– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
PHUKET: A joint police and military team of 30 officers raided a karaoke business in Chumphon yesterday and rescued six underage Laotian girls and seven Laotian women who were trafficked into prostitution in the southern province.
All 13 victims are from Vientiane.
Sojirat Kuyukham, 38, who owns and manages the business, was arrested.
Acting on a tip-off, an official disguised as a customer paid Sojirat 1,200 baht for sex at the business. The official went into a room with a girl and phoned the joint team.
They invoked martial law, which has been in effect since May 22, to search the shop without a warrant. The officials seized 39,000 baht, condoms, a pistol and five bullets, six bank account books, two Laotian passports and a mobile phone as evidence.
Sojirat was charged with trafficking underage girls (older than 15 but younger than 18) and procurement of underage girls into prostitution.
Police also searched a nearby house and found bankbooks for 15 accounts, six of which belonged to Sojirat, with the nine others in the names of well-known people in Chumphon.
— Phuket Gazette Editors