3 foreign men arrested in Thai police crackdown on child prostitution in Phuket

Photo via Facebook/ ศูนย์ปฏิบัติการบังคับใช้กฎหมายพนักงานฝ่ายปกครอง

Following the crackdown on child prostitution at Velvet bar in the Patong neighbourhood of Phuket two weeks ago, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) discovered six more foreign men also bought sexual services at the bar and through its network. Out of the six, three foreign men were arrested while three are on the run.

The Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) and the RTP launched an investigation into child prostitution at Velvet bar following a complaint by the international anti-trafficking organisation, Operation Underground Railroad. The bar manager and a sex worker agent were arrested while six teenagers aged under 18 years old were rescued.

After further RTP investigations, Velvet bar was found to have three more bars in its network including Model, Bangla Beach, and Strip Phuket Bar. The three bars were raided, and four more teenage victims were rescued. The four bars reportedly offered sex services to customers 109 times.

These bars were operated by a company called Aurum Bualuang which had three persons on its executive board, including two Thai women, Benjamaporn, and Supaporn, and a foreign man named Ronnie.

The two Thai women were arrested while Ronnie fled the country. They were charged with violating Section 6 of the Act on Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking by seeking personal benefits from child prostitution. The charge carries a punishment of imprisonment of four to 12 years and a fine of 400,000 to 1,200,000 baht.

Moreover, Benjamaporn who was named as the chief executive officer was found to be an employee and nominee under the control of Ronnie. So, these two were charged more for violating the Foreign Business Act.

The RTP then conducted raids at 36 spots related to suspects in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Ratchasima, Surin, Ratchaburi, Phetburi, and Phuket and confiscated assets which were worth over 22 million baht.

Assets included 52 bank accounts with money of more than 100 million baht in circulation, two houses worth 7 million baht, an apartment worth 5 million baht, four plots of land worth 10 million baht, four vehicles worth 500,000 baht, and several financial documents.

Further investigation led to the identification of six foreigners who had bought sexual services at the four bars. Police issued arrest warrants for six foreigners, including: 67 year old Australian Paul Herbert Corbett, 68 year old Frenchman Max Rigobert Ramasamy, 44 year old Chinese man Mutu Pan, 50 year old American Jeffrey Lynn Amman, 40 year old Saudi Arabian man Ahmed Saleh Balobead, and 49 year old American Jesse James Demian.

The Australian, French, and Chinese men were arrested and prosecuted, while the other three men are still at large. The RTP will cooperate with Interpol to track down the three escaped suspects.

Crime NewsPhuket NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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