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Court jails five in sex trafficking case

BANGKOK: The Criminal Court yesterday (July 18) sentenced an Australian pub owner to 19 years in prison and four foreign and Thai accomplices to 16 years each for sex-trafficking four Moroccan women.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 19 July 2018, 09:08AM

Testimony at their Criminal Court trial revealed that an Australian plus four Thai and foreign accomplices lured women from Africa to this Sukhumvit-area hotel-disco. Photo: via Bangkok Post

Testimony at their Criminal Court trial revealed that an Australian plus four Thai and foreign accomplices lured women from Africa to this Sukhumvit-area hotel-disco. Photo: via Bangkok Post

The defendants were convicted of human trafficking and procuring prostitutes which was in contravention of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Prevention Act, the Suppression of Prostitution Act and the Criminal Code.

They are Michael Pearl, 46, an Australian national; Ghassan Wakej, 37, from Syria; Chairat Narajan, 63; Chayakorn Iamasa, 46; and Hana Taoyuree, a 38-year-old Moroccan woman.

They stood accused of conning four Moroccan women into the flesh trade in Thailand during a period stretching from Oct 11, 2016-Mar 26, 2017. All five had denied the charges.

According to two of the victims, Taoyuree lured all four to Thailand from Morocco in 2011 with the promise of jobs working as waitresses at Dream Disco, a pub owned by Pearl on the fourth floor of the Zenith Sukhumvit Hotel on Sukhumvit Rd in Bangkok’s Klong Toey district.

Taoyuree had also promised the victims they would be highly paid.

The victims said they entered Thailand via the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and boarded an inter-provincial bus bound for Bangkok.

Once in Bangkok the four were detained by Pearl’s associates – Wakej, Chairat and Chayakorn – and forced to work as prostitutes at the pub.

They said they were beaten if they refused to provide sexual services.

Taoyuree, meanwhile, collected a commission payment from Pearl and Wakej for procuring the women.

After being rescued from the pub in March 2017, two of the four victims returned to their home country.

According to the Criminal Court verdict the five defendants lured women from Africa to the disco in this hotel.

According to investigators, the statements given by the victims matched the findings from the investigation summary compiled by the Crime Suppression Division.

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security also assisted in the investigation.

After yesterday’s verdict, the four men were transferred to the Bangkok Remand Prison and Taoyuree to the Central Women Correctional Institution.

Read original story here.



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