By THE NATION
Pol Colonel Mana Kleepsatabutr said the 29-year-old woman had been rescued by the Thai Consular Office in Bahrain on Saturday, and she was staying at the Thai Embassy in Manama pending repatriation to Thailand.
Mana said the woman had been deceived by two Thai women into believing that she would be sent to work as a masseuse in South Korea, but that it would involve travelling to Bahrain to receive training first.
The two women took the victim to apply for a passport on March 12 and, in her first trip abroad, she travelled to Bahrain last Tuesday, after which she was forced into prostitution.
The woman was held captive in Manama, assaulted and forced into prostitution on the grounds that she had to repay the “debts” incurred because of her agents’ commission and other expenses.
Mana said the woman had used the Line application to send a message to her brother in Thailand last Friday.
The brother then sought help from a Damrong Tham complaints centre at the Interior Ministry, which in turn cooperated with the Thai Consular Office to rescue her.
Mana added that police would arrest the two female brokers, who would face human-trafficking charges.
Mana urged people, especially women wanting to work abroad, to find jobs through the Ministry of Labour to prevent them from being victimised by traffickers.
He added that witnesses of human trafficking could contact authorities via the police hotline 191 and 1191 or the Social Development and Human Security Ministry’s hotline 1130.
According to the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women, 127 Thai women called the foundation for help, saying they were victims of human traffickers, from January 1 to December 31 last year, including two 15-year-old girls who were forced into prostitution in Thailand.
The 125 others were Thai women forced into prostitution in other countries, with Bahrain ranking at the top with 50 victims, followed by 26 in Malaysia, 12 in Oman, nine in the United Arab Emirates and seven in South Korea.
The foundation also reported that 111 women had been rescued from forced prostitution in 2013, 153 in 2014, 200 in 2015 and 167 in 2016.