PHUKET: The teenage girl feared sold to a Phuket brothel has been found alive and well at a fairground in Haad Yai, Songkhla.
La-ongda “Tanyong” Narmsra, 14, was reported missing by her family, a clan of fairground attraction operators, on February 9.
Initially fearing abduction, Tanyong’s mother reported the girl’s disappearance and contacted the Phuket Reporters Club in the hope of tracking her down.
But her grandfather, Singh Narmsra, told the Gazette a few days after her disappearance that he learned she had willingly run off with a boy named “Bow”, estimated to be 15 or 16 years years of age.
“I was told [by Bow’s former boss] that his friends saw Bow and Tanyong together at a fairground in Haad Yai. My family and I drove down there immediately, reaching the city early on February 13,” Mr Singh explained.
“By the time we arrived Bow had run off, leaving Tanyong all alone when we finally found her,” he added.
Mr Singh and family believe Bow convinced Tanyong to run off with him, Mr Singh said.
“Tanyong said that Bow took her on a bus to Haad Yai on February 10. She pawned her mobile phone to pay for the tickets. That is why we could not reach her by phone,” he said.
“Tanyong said Bow did not harm her. They just held hands,” he added.
Tanyong wanted to come back and call the family, but she was afraid her father might hit her, Mr Singh said.
“Tanyong said Bow kept her at the fairground in Haad Yai most of the time. He did not let her go out. He was worried someone might recognize her,” Mr Singh said.
Bow later called Tanyong’s mother, apologizing for what he had done, he added.
“He said he liked Tanyong and wanted to take her to live with him in Satun province, where his uncle lives. But they ran out of money, so he got a job in Haad Yai,” Mr Singh said.
Despite Bow’s apology, the family have filed criminal complaints against him with police in Phuket and Songkhla, Mr Singh said.
“Our family cannot forgive him. His actions are unacceptable. No matter how much he said he likes Tanyong, he has to wait until she finishes school,” he explained.
Now safe, Tanyong has returned to Ayudhya with her mother to continue her studies, Mr Singh said.
— Janpen Upatising
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