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Secret money trail bodes ill for brothel

Secret money trail bodes ill for brothel

BANGKOK: The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is tracking the money trail of a suspected human trafficking network linked to Victoria’s Secret Massage.

corruptioncrimeimmigrationpolicepoliticssexMyanmar
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 23 January 2018, 09:23AM


The Jan 12 raid on the massage parlour-cum-brothel has opened the door to a cesspool of bribery, corruption and human trafficking of minors for the sex trade. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

The Jan 12 raid on the massage parlour-cum-brothel has opened the door to a cesspool of bribery, corruption and human trafficking of minors for the sex trade. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

The Bangkok brothel was raided on Jan 12, exposing the illegal hiring of minors and migrant workers and shining a light on what is claimed to be systematic bribery and corruption involving high-ranking officials.

The agency said it expects this will lead to more information coming to light about bribes allegedly paid to a number of state officials.

DSI chief Paisit Wongmuang said the unit is working with the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to pin down the money trail for use as evidence.

Former politician Chuvit Kamolvisit, who launched the brothel a few years ago, yesterday (Jan 12) told DSI investigators that he was aware it had an emergency system in place in the event of a police raid.

He met with the police to clear up rumours about the parlour, which he no longer owns after having sold it to Kampol Wirathepsuporn.

The emergency plan, stored in the parlour’s computer system, requires staff to immediately sever the credit card payment system from the brothel’s main computer system if a raid happens, Mr Chuvit said.

This would implicate cashiers and customer service staff in the destruction of evidence, he said.

Mr Kampol and his wife Nipa Wirathepsuporn have yet to contact the authorities, who have issued arrest warrants for the couple in relation to human trafficking, Col Paisit said.

The DSI is working with the Immigration Bureau to track them down and make sure they don’t flee the country, he added.

Among the evidence Mr Chuvit handed over were photos taken at a New Year’s party at the massage parlour. They showed Kampol and his wife attending a ceremony for staff wishing for good luck, said an informed source.

Mr Chuvit claims this strongly suggests they had a stake in the business.

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He said he will provide the same information to the US embassy, which has invited him to meet to discuss the case.

Mr Chuvit also gave the DSI officers copies of minutes taken from company meetings, said the same source.

At least 113 of the women and girls detained as a result of the Jan 12 raid were found to come from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, the source added.

At least 14 of the girls were under 18, said deputy DSI chief Songsak Raksaksakul. Bone tests on the detainees confirmed this.

Earlier reports had claimed nine of the girls were minors.

The DSI has yet to verify the ages of other employees at the parlour as they claimed to be 18 or over, the DSI chief said. He said the agency will contact their respective embassies to learn more details.

Mr Chuvit said girls aged between 12 and 18 were recruited to work at Victoria’s Secret Massage as it was part of a criminal syndicate.

Parents were offered “loans” to help pay off their debts in exchange for sending their daughters to work there, sources said.

Mr Chuvit said Kampol knows many influential figures, some of whom are trying to use their power to help him escape prosecution by fleeing the country.

Read original story here.

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Kurt | 24 January 2018 - 19:45:48

All people involved not want to get the 'Kampols'.
Now all officials put their full weight om irrelevant matters around this affair. ( paid smoke screens)
A kind of damage control to safe high ranking officials and influential people.
Justice reserved for the rich.

How are things now with all these traumatised under aged girls?

Kurt | 24 January 2018 - 19:40:38

Remember: A few days ago the police declared not to go to check out one of the houses ( more north) of this couple.
In which country do you get so much help from the police, to give you time to go there and remove/destroy all evidence?

This is a very 'influential people affair'.
RTP colonels, Officials revenue Dept., Water Board, etc.
The 'Kampols' left Thailand already. All ...

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