Minister warns civil servants about prostitution

BANGKOK (AFP): Thailand’s interior minister, who has been hailed for a clampdown on the country’s flourishing illegal sex trade, today warned civil servants of severe action if caught using under-age prostitutes. Purachai Piumsomboon has ordered the dismissal of any government employee found to use child prostitutes or women forced into prostitution, following a series of recent scandals. One 12 year-old girl rescued from a brothel this week told police that a Bangkok police lieutenant colonel had been among clients at the establishment, newspapers reported today. Purachi said child prostitution was one of the social problems he was most concerned about. “Girls between 12 and 15 have been forced into prostitution,” he told reporters. “Adults who patronise them do not have a social conscience,” he added as he warned of instant dismissal for any government employee found to have used a prostitute under the age of 20. “I don’t care about those who patronise prostitutes who are over the age of 20. I assume [the girls] are giving their services voluntarily. But anyone who uses a prostitute who is chained, beaten or drugged can be sure they will face…[dismissal]. The authorities say they are gathering evidence to take action against the police lieutenant colonel named by the 12-year-old girl who was rescued this week. A 43-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested Wednesday on charges of luring the girl into the sex trade. Thailand has been fighting for years against a reputation of being a haven for illegal sex, but few have taken on the phenomenon with the energy of Purachai, who has been interior minister for less than a year.

Phuket News
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