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Patong bar child sex raid uncovers tourist area network

Patong bar child sex raid uncovers tourist area network

PHUKET: Police have identified three key suspects wanted for leading a child sex trafficking network operating in other tourist areas in the country following a raid at a bar in Patong on Wednesday night.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 19 March 2023, 10:51AM

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surchate Hakparn revealed the news during a visit to Phuket yesterday (Mar 18).

According to a Royal Thai Police report, Gen Surachate’s visit was to speak with Region 8 Police, Immigration police and Phuket Provincial Police to expedite the investigation into the network and to follow-up on the progress in the case.

Gen Surachate’s visit followed a special operations team from the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) raiding the ‘Velvet bar’ on Soi Sea Dragon on Wednesday night (Mar 15).

Patong Police were not part of the operation. Immediately following the raid, five senior officers at Patong Police Station, including Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nilabadee, were removed from duty.

 The bar was operating as a general bar for tourists, but was offering underage girls as prostitutes to foreign customers. The two women were placed under arrest and later charged for human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation of children.

While the bar was being raided, other officers entered a hotel nearby where prostitutes working for the bar were waiting for customers. Six of the sex workers were underage. The youngest was just 15 years old. All six were taken into protective care.

Gen Surachate yesterday said the expanded investigation into the child sex trafficking network had identified seven more underage girls being used by the network. Two of them had now also been taken into protective care.

The key suspect, named by police only as “Mr Rolly”, had fled Bangkok to Laos, Gen Surchate said.

Pacific Prime Thailand

Police are searching for two other key suspects believed to still be in the country, he added.

Gen Surachate explained that police were also investigating Thai nationals used as nominees to allow foreign nationals to operate the nightlife businesses now under investigation for being part of the child sex trafficking network.

The network is extensive, Gen Surachate said.

“There are many branches in tourist province areas,” he said.

“The child victims traveled from many provinces in the North, Northeastern and Central regions, most of them claiming to have family problems and going to live with relatives,” he added.

“Child sexual exploitation is a form of human trafficking that should not happen and should not exist in the area. Such offenses may occur from the negligence of both administrative and police officials,” Gen Surachate said.

“In such cases, there must be a final prosecution,” he added.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub

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DeKaaskopp | 20 March 2023 - 15:24:39

@JohnC   The "owner" of that bar is a swiss national. Clients of that bar are mostly- if not 100%- foreigners. So what is your waffling about again? Feeling persecuted again ?

Pooliekev | 20 March 2023 - 14:17:09

@JohnC. Foreigners ARE to blame. These bars get no Thai trade, however much you want to protest. We are discussing the CURRENT situation.

JohnC | 20 March 2023 - 09:13:23

Once again trying to make it sound like foreigners are to blame. This country has been using young girls in the sex trade since long before tourism became a big thing here. Depraved Thai men and women preying on their own people, often younger relatives "encouraging' them to make lots of money to send home to their families. Greed is one of humanity's worst vices and it is very preval...

GerryT81 | 19 March 2023 - 18:45:12

@Nasa12    Utter nonsense !!!

Nasa12 | 19 March 2023 - 15:30:56

So where are Mr “Patong“ Prab, he now everything what happens in Patong. Now one can make any business in Patong if prab not approved it. 

Fascinated | 19 March 2023 - 11:14:38

Any police officers involved in this despicable trade should be hung, drawn and quartered. Its not just in tourist-centric provinces. One of those crimes where public stoning would be appropriate.


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