By The Nation
Deputy chief Pol Colonel Mana Kleepsattabut of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) said on Thursday that they had identified six high-risk areas, following instructions from the prime minister and the national police chief to gather human trafficking and prostitution crime statistics.
The areas include Bangkok’s Huai Kwang and Phra Nakhon districts; the North’s Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces; the Northeast’s Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Sakhon Nakhon and Nakhon Ratchasima; the Central region’s Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Chacherngsao, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon; the South’s Phuket and Songkhla; and the East’s Chon Buri and Rayong.
The action follows a raid on Tuesday on the V2 Entertainment massage parlour in Bangkok’s Wang Thong Lang district where a gang using the Facebook page “Amara Bee” allegedly lured girls under 18 into prostitution.
The raid, in which police arrested a male employee, took place at the same time that another police team nabbed three unnamed local politicians in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district for allegedly buying sexual services from underage girls. Another team also arrested Pak Chong resort caretaker Winai Jaengploy, 56, on the same charge.
The five men maintained their innocence.
The elusive Thipaporn “Madam Pu” Maneenoi – who is wanted for allegedly being in charge of account books and opening hotel rooms for girls to wait for customers – has reportedly contacted police to surrender.
The case stemmed from an AHTD operation in May that arrested “Amara Bee”, a 15-year-old girl who sought commissions by procuring girls, in a sting operation. A runaway 14-year-old girl and five other underage girls who were lured into prostitution in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Muang district were rescued.
More victims uncovered in the probe told police they were taken to sell sex services in both Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok, which led to the AHTD’s “From Korat to V2” operation earlier this week.
Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Wichien Chantaranothai said if the police probe deemed the three Pak Chong politicians were guilty, they would get disciplinary punishments. One of the arrested men was a Tambon Administrative Organisation president.
He said a fact-finding panel was set to look into the allegations against the politicians.