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Patong bar raided for child sex trafficking

Patong bar raided for child sex trafficking

PHUKET: A special operations team from the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) raided a bar off Bangla Rd, Patong last night (Mar 15), where two women were charged with sex trafficking underage prostitutes, the youngest of whom was 15 years old.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 16 March 2023, 12:05PM

The raid was ordered by DOPA Director-General Manrat Rattanasukhon after he received a tip-off from Operation Underground Railroad, a United States-based nonprofit organisation involved in the rescue of human trafficking and sex trafficking victims, with a special focus on children.

The tip-off explained that the ‘Velvet bar’ on Soi Sea Dragon was operating as a general bar for tourists, but was offering underage girls as prostitutes to foreign customers.

The raid began at 8pm after an undercover officer posing as a customer entered the bar and confirmed that the bar was providing underage girls for sex.

Taksakorn ‘Nam’ Supakaraphokin was confirmed to be the bar manager while Watcharaporn ‘Yuki’ Thongmak was identified or as the ‘ broker’ who recruited children to sell sex.

The two women were placed under arrest and later charged for human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation of children.

The two women were also deemed to be operating a brothel, and charged for that also.

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

“Human trafficking is a national problem,” said DPOA Inspector-General Ronnarong Thipsiri following the raid.

“This may affect the economy and image of Thailand, including the well-being of the people. Therefore, it is a problem that must be jointly solved.

“The Department of Provincial Administration, as an agency that takes care of the suffering of the people, has been accelerating the suppression of human trafficking, to push forward to raise Thailand’s ranking on the watchlist [of the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report] from from Tier 2 to Tier 1,” he said.

Mr Ronnarong urged people to report any suspected activities of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children to the DOPA Special Operations Department or by calling the national hotline 1567.

Alternatively people can make reports to the Damrongdhama Center (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) via the national hotline 1567.

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christysweet | 18 March 2023 - 13:31:39

..and until Thailand addresses the huge gender inequities in the workplace. tackling  corruption  will never  get any traction.  

christysweet | 18 March 2023 - 12:58:19

Noone should be  forced to sell sex, and no one should be denied the right to do so.  Are 15 yo women  too young?  Too young for what? To guard themselves agains exploitation? Certainly, so take that component out of the situation  ENFORCE current laws on third party profiteering which is the FOUNDATION of corruption  in Thailand. . 

GerryT81 | 18 March 2023 - 12:54:19

just show that you are clueless about the bars and how it works here.Have you ever been at a bar in the last 10 years ?  How about listening to those for once who are involved in that business for quite some time already. 

GerryT81 | 18 March 2023 - 12:48:48

Yes Kurt,most of them know very well what they do.You think there is no internet in rural parts of Thailand ? Those girls who are "sold" by their parents are a very small percentage and those girls usually don't end up in Phuket but in some dirty Thai owned brothels mostly along the Laos/Myanmar border. Many of those brothels filled with girls from Laos actually.Most of your comments...

GerryT81 | 18 March 2023 - 12:41:56

@Kurt  You not go to Patong but you know so much about certain places. So your knowledge comes from some hear/say only ! Btw,if people are not lazy to walk a few minutes they still find space for parking. You want to know who to report to ? you would not ask that question if you would have read the article carefully. Obviously you did not as the answer to that question is given in the article !  

Kurt | 18 March 2023 - 10:54:15

Perhaps GerryT doesn't know that 'sex brokers' are traveling to poorer provinces/towns/villages and pay parents to let their kids go to Phuket-Patong. Under the false flag of working in thai massage, finger nails treatment jobs. But parents do damn well know for what the broker is paying them, and take their kid to Phuket. It's a industry. Parents, broker, bar/brothel owner and RTP...

Kurt | 18 March 2023 - 10:36:40

...encouraged by family to go and 'work' there. Modern Slavery has many faces!  3- GerryT may say to whom to report. To 1 of the 5 Colonels of Patong RTP who became 'inactive' due to this affair? What is known by RTP doesn't need to be reported! And so also no need to wait for others to report. It just needs to be exposed! By Thai- or foreign organisations.

Kurt | 18 March 2023 - 10:22:44

GerryT overlooks: 1- I comment on article, never go Patong, where to park as almost all spaces are claimed by transport cartels? 2- Sad GerryT says that kids of age 15 and up know what they are doing. Yeah, who believes dat kids of that age from poorer villages are saying: "let's go to Patong on Phuket to become a prostitue". Many time they are encouraged by family to go and 'wor...

GerryT81 | 17 March 2023 - 09:54:49

@Kurt  No, it's not modern slavery ! Most of them know very well what they are doing. They are not chained up and they are not locked in some small room. And I wonder if you know so well about Paradise Complex and if you are so concerned ,why didn't you report it to some authorities already ? Always waiting for others ? Sounds pretty cowardly to me.

GerryT81 | 17 March 2023 - 09:45:12

Sadly there will be always demand for underaged girls because there are so many ,mostly white males from rich countries like USA,Australia and of course all the western Europe countries, looking for them. Being involved in the "Entertainment" business for many years I can see what girls they prefer. Usually the youngest or young looking girls are bar-fined first. 

Kurt | 17 March 2023 - 09:26:31

...  on underaged sex workers ( in compulsive position), before foreign organisations ring the bell again first. Do know your province, Governor! You are the Captain of the ship. Closing eyes during ceremonies is ok, but open them for control/managing Phuket.

Kurt | 17 March 2023 - 09:18:39

"Human trafficking is a 'NATiONAL' problem. No need to be said, DPOA General! We all know that. Ironic that on "MY FFREEDOM DAY" at world class tourist destination Phuket in red light area Bangla children from age 15 years old were 'rescued' from modern slavery due to foreign initiatives. A second chance for Governor/DPOA to check out Patong Paradise complex on under...

JohnC | 17 March 2023 - 08:57:29

"Deemed to be operating a brothel." Since when has this ever been an issue in a country where most people could not count high enough to reach the number of such establishments throughout the land. Apparently they are all illegal but all operating with the blessing of those wonderful people at the RTP who look out for their welfare....

Kakka2 | 17 March 2023 - 08:01:18

wowowoww thx for the great job of the Non profit org, they really should buzz more around Banglar,  crazy to think no one in the police knew about this place.. smell so fishy... great image for Thailand and The Police in this shame story 

GiveaDtothePD | 16 March 2023 - 20:37:08

Reads like the international tip-off forced the Boys in Brown to act.  I'm sure that someone's nose in Patong PD is out of joint this morning.

Kurt | 16 March 2023 - 20:08:15

Trying to make Koh Phuket a decent tourists island needs the energy/ input of foreign organisations like non profit usa based Operation Underground Railroad. From Phuket Governor, RTP, one can't expect any initiative in this. Only action taken when they can't ignore this shamefull happening.TIT. Let us ask Governor after his next Bangla  Rd photo walk or he did dare to check premises..

Kurt | 16 March 2023 - 19:51:59

How would the Bangla Rd photo parading Phuket Governor and his flock feel now, knowing that a foreign organisation attend them on child prostitution ( modern thai young slavery?) at Bangla Rd Phuket Officialdom refuse to see while doing a Bangla Rd round? Hello, today is "modern slavery Day". Shame on Phuket officialdom with all their hypocrite  ceremonies.

JSombra | 16 March 2023 - 15:45:01

Always the manager never the owner getting busted. Bet owners other places on Bangla will be open tonight. 

christysweet | 16 March 2023 - 14:36:42

Oooh effect the image and economy is what  the concern  is about. Plenty of places don't call 15 yo 'children' in fact plenty of places let  them get married at that age. I doubt one friend of mine  had not had sex by the age of 15- gosh they can even get pregnant - so they are not children.  It's  all 'bout double standard moral codes  inflicted on females entering   adulthood...

skorchio | 16 March 2023 - 14:18:36

"may affect the economy and image of Thailand" ...... no mention of the damaged individual victims ...... the Authorities basically only GAF about cash and perception, and they openly state this. They dont even see how wrong that is. AND, the tip off is from an International non-profit organisation, the sort of organisations which were recently targeted by the Govt. I stopped being surpr...

Capricornball | 16 March 2023 - 13:34:31

Certainly the bottom of the barrel in terms of evil and immoral humans. To knowingly and willfully traffic young girls and rent them to crusty-ass foreigners warrants the harshest of penalties. Destroying the lives of others for the sake of stuffing your pockets is the worst. Something tells me this sh**hole wasn't operating without the knowledge of local police.


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