SOUTH Korean police have alerted Thai police to a crackdown on prostitution rings on Thursday that resulted in the arrest of 48 Thai women and five prostitution brokers.
Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, deputy police spokesman, said: “We are coordinating with police in South Korea to ask for more details about the raids on Thursday and find ways to help the women.”
According South Korean media reports, South Korean police records show some 200 Thai women were arrested since the middle of last year for prostitution and working illegally in the country. Of that number, 40 were transvestites.
Some of the women entered South Korea as tourists after the brokers promised them jobs in massage parlours but were forced to work as prostitutes. Thai nationals require no visa to enter South Korea.
South Korea media reported that prostitution brokers had been apprehended in Seoul, Kyungkido and Chungcheong since last year.
Of the 48 Thais arrested on Thursday, 12 had already been deported, Krissana said.
South Korean police said brokers who had lured the women to work as prostitutes were Thais and foreigners.
He said one trick the brokers used to lure women to travel to South Korea was to tell them they would be going on a sightseeing trip and would get paid.
Thailand has legislation to help women who are victims of human-trafficking rings, he said. Thai police would determine if the women arrested in the raids were victims or chose to do sex work.