Steamed and seized: Bangkok sauna raid busts suspected sex and trafficking ring

Photo via Facebook/ ดาวแปดแฉก

Police raided a sauna and fitness spa in the Thon Buri district of Bangkok and apprehended 36 people suspected of engaging in illegal sexual activities and human trafficking. It was later concluded no money for sex passed hands and there was no evidence of human trafficking.

Officers from the Children and Women Protection Sub-Division raided Phoenix Sauna on the Ratchada-Tha Phra Road at midnight on July 8, after receiving a tip-off that the place was providing sex services for its homosexual customers.

According to the authorities, the sauna operated within a six-story building. The ground floor served as the reception area and housed lockers for customers, while the second floor was dedicated to fitness activities. The third to fifth floors comprised rental rooms while the sixth floor housed sauna facilities.

Officers apprehended 31 male customers, the sauna’s owner, and four staff members during the raid. Some individuals were discovered engaging in sexual activities within the rented rooms and a lot of used condoms were scattered throughout the building. Following drug tests, all suspects’ results came back clean.

Staff members revealed to the police that they charge customers 200 baht each and give them wristbands. Anyone who identifies as a giver would wear the band on the right wrist while those who liked to receive anal sex would wear it on the left wrist.

After investigating each suspect’s criminal history, only one man came back as having form, a 25 year old named Thanawat Ongwiroj, for fraud.

The Commander of the Metropolitan Police Region 8, Nanop Sukonthanapat, concluded that the establishment could not be classified as a brothel as it did not provide sexual services to its customers. The participation in sexual activities was voluntary and no money transactions passed hands between the customers or the sauna’s owner.

Consequently, the police were unable to press charges against the owners, staff members, or customers.

Nevertheless, the sauna’s owner, 33 year old Surasak Songram, faces a penalty of imprisonment from one to ten years and a fine from 20,000 to 200,000 baht for preparing the venue as a place for individuals to engage in sexual activities.

Phoenix Sauna staff members, and the 31 men at the spa, were released without a charge as their actions did not violate any laws.

Bangkok NewsCrime 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

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