NONTHABURI – August 23, 2012 [PDN]: the arrest of a woman for human trafficking was announced at the National Operation Center on Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking.
Making the announcement was Pol. Maj. Gen. Chavalit Sawangpuech, director of the NOCHT; Pol. Col. Prakal Sangsongfa; Pol. Col. Prasert Pattanadee, vice director of NOCHT; and Pol. Col. Chitpop Tomuen, director of NOCHT.
The suspect was identified as Ms. Intira Sinsakko or Pui, age 45, under the designation of the criminal court arrest warrants 1435/2555, dated 21 August 2012. She was arrested at house number 1/21 Moo 1, Bang Kra Sor, Muang Nonthaburi.
Ms. Intira was charged with procuring three or more persons jointly for human trafficking, and providing or managing, luring or drawing people into prostitution.
Helping bring about her arrest was Mrs. Paweena Hongsakul, the chairman of Paweena Hongsakul for Children and Women foundation.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Chavalit said the arrest was due to the coordination from the Paweena foundation, after it helped the mother of “Ms. Som” (alias), age 26, who had just graduated from a university and was looking for work.
However, the mother told Mrs. Paweena that her daughter had been deceived into prostitution in Bahrain, and was forced to sell her body for sex from May 27 to June 6.
So Pol. Maj. Gen. Chavalit assigned the detective team from squad 1, in NOHCT to cooperate with the Bahrain police to help bring back Ms. Som to Thailand.
After her return to Thailand, Ms. Som was questioned by police. Ms. Som told police that she had been invited by a friend to work in Bahrain to promote Thai tourism. The friend told her the job was for 20 days and she would get paid 50,000 baht.
Ms. Som accepted the job, and stayed in the Bansuan resort for two days before going to Bahrain. But when she reached Bahrain, her passport was seized, and she was forced to be a prostitute.
The suspect, Ms. Intira, informed the victim that she now had to repay a debt of 80,000 baht. Ms. Som then tried to call her mother to find a way to get help. But she was unsuccessful, and was forced to work for a prostitute for more than 10 days before returning to Thailand.
After the questioning the victim, police found that a couple in Bahrain were also involved, a Thai woman and a Bahrain man living together. The police hurried to collect the evidence for the court to issue an arrest warrant to arrest the couple.
Meanwhile, Ms. Intira denied all accusations of trafficking, and claimed that she only knew the friend of the victim, who had recommended her.
So Ms. Intira had obtained the room at the Bansuan resort to help Ms. Som to go to Bahrain. Ms. Intira insisted that she was not involved in forcing the victim to prostitution in any way.
Mrs. Paveena informed police that there is an international network of criminals tricking Thai girls into prostitution in Bahrain.
The network in Bahrain is run by a group of people who had been forced into prostitution before. These prostitutes later became madams who provide Thai girls for prostitution.
Mrs. Paveena warned young Thai women who want to work, don’t believe anyone who says he or she can offer a job abroad with a good income.
In addition to charging the girl for the high cost of travel, the bogus employer will also confiscate the victim’s passport. He will then force her into prostitution by claiming she now has to repay a debt of several hundred thousand baht.
According to Mrs. Paveena, more than 200 Thai girls have been jailed by Bahrain police for prostitution. The Bahrain police have helped the women after their arrests after discovering their circumstances, she said.
After questioning the victims, Mrs. Paveena discovered that almost all of them were factory workers who had much debt. Some of them were unemployed, so they were easily deceived.
When tricked into coming to Bahrain, the Thai girls were forced to live in crowded, one-room apartments, where more than 10 girls had to stay together.
The network of human sex trafficking also extends to South Africa, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Paveena said.
Recently, 11 girls forced to work as prostitutes in South Africa were rescued through the coordination between the various departments, such as NOCHT, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the Royal Thai Police, Mrs. Paveena said.