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Video Report: Police raid massage parlors for human trafficking, child prostitution

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Police came up empty-handed in a series of raids on massage parlors in Phuket Town in search of human-trafficking victims and underage sex workers last night.

“We had more than 300 officers checking massage parlors at Phun Phol Plaza, and along Soi 11 and Phun Pol Road,” Phuket City Police Deputy Superintendent Khunnadet Nanongkhai told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

“We did not find any sex-trade human-trafficking victims. The women who were at the venues were adult Thais, who were legally working as masseuses.”

No arrests were made at the massage parlors.

However, 10 women were arrested for offering sexual services in public along Chaofa Road.

Col Khunnadet noted that cracking down on the sex trade was difficult due to the penalty being no more than 1,000 baht per offense. However, human traffickers and those promoting child prostitution face much heavier penalties.

“We will continue to search nightlife venues throughout the island, including karaokes, massage parlors and bars to ensure that there are no human-trafficking victims or child sex workers, and that nobody is working illegally,” Col Khunnadet said.

The police raids in Phuket last night follow an investigation on Friday in Pathum Thani that resulted in the rescue of 10 women, two of whom were minors.

The investigation, which also uncovered documents allegedly proving that bribes were paid to state officials, led national police chief Gen Somyos Pumpanmuang to threaten all provincial commanders of internal investigations should similar criminal behavior be discovered, reported The Nation.

Ahead of the Phuket Town raid, Patong Police hosted an anti-human trafficking meeting with representatives from all of the town’s night-entertainment venues at the Patong Police Station.

“The Phuket Provincial Police are cracking down on human trafficking on the island. Though we don’t think it is a serious issue at bars in our jurisdiction, we still want to sit down with owners or their representatives,” Patong Police Deputy Superintendent Akanit Danpitaksat told the Gazette ahead of the meeting.

“We will make it clear that we will be working hard to prevent any human-trafficking victims from becoming part of the nightlife-entertainment industry, as well as cracking down on illegal workers and drugs.”

Lt Col Akanit also pointed out that the meeting would be a good opportunity to touch base with bar owners to get ideas on how the police can better serve the island’s premier party town.

“We will listen to their suggestions and bring the ideas to our superiors,” Col Akanit said.

— Chutharat Plerin


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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