Surin teacher faces severe punishment for selling teen girls for sex

PHOTO: Four people operating sex for sale karaoke bars were arrested, while nineteen sex workers were held, seven of whom are underaged - The Thai

A 51 year old local schoolteacher in Thailand’s northeastern Surin province, near the Cambodian border, was among the owners of three karaoke bars caught selling the sexual services of underaged Thai girls this week. Nineteen women, thought to be sex workers, were taken into custody following raids on the bars.

The businesses were closed and their owners face a range of charges including human trafficking and facilitating the molestation of minors. Provincial authorities warned that government officials and employees will face harsher punishment after it emerged that one of the owners was a public school teacher.

Narong Thipsiri, the Director of Law Enforcement for the Department of Provincial Administration in Surin, acknowledged that human trafficking is a serious problem in the province. He said that as well as being a violation of Thailand’s laws, it also violates the human rights of those exploited and is highly immoral.

Raids followed a tip from Chiang Mai-based NGO

Two of the bars were reported to authorities by Lift International, an NGO which began nearly ten years ago in New Zealand and now operates in Chiang Mai. As well as fighting human trafficking in Thailand linked to prostitution, Lift also works to strengthen justice in Thailand by assisting the most vulnerable. The organisation notified authorities that two of the karaoke bars were offering sexual services involving underaged girls.

Foreign tourists among the clientele

The three bars involved are Leo Karaoke and Nad Phob Karaoke, identified by the NGO to authorities, and a third , Don Kaew Karaoke. During the raids, which involved armed police, officers found several foreign tourists among the clientele. Police had staked out the establishments and established that the bars were engaging in prostitution before the go-ahead was given to move in.

7 underage girls to be treated as victims

Seven of the sex workers arrested are under the age of 18, meaning that any person having sexual relations with them was committing a sexual offence or even rape, under Thai law. The youngest girl detained was 14. Police are withholding the names of the underaged victims and say they will be treated as victims exploited by prostitution rackets.

SOURCE: The Thai

Northern Thailand News
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