Several officials in Thailand wanted over child trafficking involvement in south

After several raids this week, police are investigating several officials over a sex trafficking case in the southern Thai province of Surat Thani. The director-general of Thailand’s Department of Children and Youth has been charged for hampering an investigation into a trafficking ring. Several other officials found to be involved in the ring include the chairman of a local savings cooperative, and a deputy chairman of Phunphin district’s tambon administrative organisation’s council.

Apart from the DCY director-general, 18 suspects are wanted for child sex-related charges. These charges include colluding to operate a child sex trafficking ring, and luring minors into prostitution, among others. One individual, so far only identified as “Aem” allegedly assaulted children at a shelter, to pressure them into prostitution. A police lieutenant general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission told the Bangkok Post that Aem was charged with physically assaulting a minor, malfeasance in office, and obstructing a police investigation.

Sex trafficking of both children, and adults, is a notable, ongoing problem that plagues Thailand. In March, police raided a bar in Bangkok’s Nana area and found that at least three teenage girls were offering sexual services. Two are 15 years old, another is 14. A woman at the bar was arrested on child sex trafficking charges. The alleged agent was charged with human trafficking, sex trafficking, encouraging children to commit crimes, and opening a bar without permission.

Also in March, police in Chachoengsao, a province east of Bangkok, arrested a woman suspected of tricking another woman into working as a prostitute in the United Arab Emirates. The alleged victim told authorities she was invited to work as a masseuse at a spa in Dubai. The woman who invited her was called ‘Ms. Lilly’, and promised her a 40,000 baht monthly salary. After she flew to Dubai in September, Ms. Lilly confiscated her passport and ordered her to give clients sexual services.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.