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DSI denies brothel crackdown was political

BANGKOK: The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has dismissed speculation that the crackdown on suspected human trafficking at Victoria’s Secret Massage last Friday (Jan 12) was politically motivated.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 18 January 2018, 01:11PM

Police escort Sasithorn Wirathepsuporn (inset) to the Criminal Court yesterday (Jan 17). She is a key shareholder of Amarin Onsen Ltd Partnership, which operated Victoria’s Secret Massage parlour until it was busted last last Friday (Jan 12). Main photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Police escort Sasithorn Wirathepsuporn (inset) to the Criminal Court yesterday (Jan 17). She is a key shareholder of Amarin Onsen Ltd Partnership, which operated Victoria’s Secret Massage parlour until it was busted last last Friday (Jan 12). Main photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

The operation, carried out by the DSI along with the military and local police officers, was not instructed by anyone on high, neither was it an order from the Justice Minister, the permanent secretary for justice or the DSI chief, said DSI deputy chief Songsak Raksaksakul.

“Even though in an intelligence report our investigators have shown that the group of [real] massage parlour owners, who are not nominees of anyone else, are connected with certain politicians in the North and West forming a new political party, Friday’s raid on the parlour really had nothing to do with politics,” he said.

“They [politicians] have tried to portray this operation as politically motivated revenge, even though they actually had violated the law,” he said.

A source said there had been attempts to link last Friday’s raid on Victoria's Secret Massage with politics by suggesting that the raid was intended to force this political group to turn to support Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in becoming prime minister again after the general election.

The source said that Lt Col Supat Thamthanarug, director of the DSI’s Bureau of Human Trafficking Crime, went to Wang Thong Lang Police Station yesterday (Jan 17) to take over the investigation from detectives there after DSI chief Col Paisit Wongmuang approved a proposal for the DSI to take up the Victoria’s Secret Massage case for investigation and treat it as a special criminal case.

In last Friday’s raid, more than 80 women found there are believed to have been forced into prostitution.

Authorities widened the investigation and later allegedly discovered that 20 state officials including senior police were implicated in documents, found at the parlour, which could expose a human trafficking network.

Since the Victoria’s Secret Massage case was clearly a human trafficking one because it involves child prostitutes, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon has instructed all relevant authorities to consider taking the toughest possible legal action against people found to be involved in this human-trafficking network, Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich said yesterday.

It is government policy to work harder to stamp out human trafficking and bring those behind this illegal business to justice, particularly those who are state officials, he said.

Col Songsak also revealed that at least four girls aged under 18 were found in a screening last Sunday (Jan 14) conducted on the people detained during the raid and were believed to be prostitutes working at the parlour.

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At least two other underage girls were found to have been forced into prostitution, Col Songsak said.

This is clear evidence that the Victoria’s Secret Massage case involves human trafficking, he said.

The DSI is in the process of gathering more evidence to back its planned request for arrest warrants for two other major shareholders in the company that operates the massage parlour, he said.

On Tuesday (Jan 16), Sasithorn Wirathepsuporn, 45, a key shareholder of Amarin Onsen Limited Partnership, which operates the massage parlour, was accompanied by her lawyer when she turned herself in to deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul at the Royal Thai Police.

Sasithorn, who is facing an arrest warrant on various charges including colluding in human-trafficking, was yesterday denied bail.

She was then remanded and transferred to the Central Women Correctional Institution in Chatuchak district where she will remain in custody, a source said.

She appeared tense, suffering from lack of sleep and cried all the time before being taken to the Criminal Court yesterday afternoon when police investigators requested the court’s permission to further detain her during the ongoing investigation, the source said.

The DSI also plans to invite former politician and broadcaster Chuvit Kamolvisit, who founded Victoria’s Secret Massage, to provide investigators with more information on the parlour’s business, Col Songsak said.

Since Mr Chuvit previously mentioned in public that Sasithorn is only a nominee and that the real owner of the parlour is Kampol Wirathepsuporn after acquiring it from him, he should have more in-depth information that would be useful for the DSI’s probe, Col Songsak said.

Read original story here.



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Kurt | 24 January 2018 - 09:56:42

When RTP stations nationwide not follow RTP top brass directives/orders ( nothing to do with reform or degree) than RTP is more and more corroding from the inside as a functional government body. Loose respect and authority.
We see that on Phuket when 'serious' police actions only take place with army/navy back up, even on beaches.

Kurt | 24 January 2018 - 09:32:32

Commentator ..."Who cares?..Seemingly only 2 ? .."
Tell that to Madam Nicha, she was wrongly labeled in her lost ID card affair.

And it is of public concern when police not follow orders, police stations are officially not business units or photo shops.
The reason for the 2014 Coup was...Reforms..
The thai people did not expect that the RTP would be exempted, as it is until now.

Jor12 | 23 January 2018 - 19:56:11

Quotes: "Yes, that was degreed"..."Reforms, remember". yes poor reading skills and comprehension are indeed bothersome.

Christy Sweet | 23 January 2018 - 18:18:40

Poor reading skills are very tiresome, or is it just lazy discourse?  I always found understanding another's point is  crucial in communications.
 Actually reading at a speed one can comprehend is a good tip.

Jor12 | 23 January 2018 - 14:20:28

It's not a reform nor decree. No-one else is concerned about it, least of all PN.

Kurt | 23 January 2018 - 13:36:32

Who cares? That is precisely the point....Who cares when top brass RTP orders are not obeyed.?......
That is a thai government law enforcement problem. Reforms, remember?

Jor12 | 23 January 2018 - 12:17:17

Who cares? - seemingly only 2.

Kurt | 23 January 2018 - 12:04:49

Yes, that was degreed! National Police Chief Gen Chaktlip issued an order June 22, 2017, banning police from posing for photos with suspects. As suspects are not convicted criminals.
Many times 'suspects' are wrongly arrested by RTP, but become labeled.

Christy Sweet | 23 January 2018 - 10:27:41

Was it not decreed suspects would not have their pictures published?

Kurt | 22 January 2018 - 19:13:27

Filing a complain to the next police station sounds a bit funny and naïve, right?
Forgotten that school girls prostitution affair more north, managed by police officers?
I dare to say that all police stations at least know exactly what prostitution wise is going on in their jurisdiction, yes/no involved like with the venue in this story.

DeKaaskopp | 22 January 2018 - 16:04:00

If someone knows more parlors with under aged girls then he should file a complain to the next police station.Question arises how does he know.Did he ask the girls for seeing an ID when visiting?

Kurt | 22 January 2018 - 11:42:57

There are many more 'Massage Parlors' like Victoria Secret (?)Massage, with many under aged women.
Why was this business picked to raid? 
Was it because of the naked women statues outside?
Why a massage parlor has such statues outside in high moral pretending thai culture?

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