Thursday, October 17, 2019

Madams, ex-cop handed another 183-309 years in Mae Hong Son child-prostitution case

Oct 18. 2018
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By Kesinee Taengkhieo
The Nation

11,851 Viewed

The Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court on Thursday increased the jail tariff for two “madams” and a former senior cop by 183 years and 309 years respectively, over charges linked to the “owl tattoo” prostitution racket in Mae Hong Son.

The trio were convicted over their roles in supplying a hotel in Tambon Jong Kham of Muang Mae Hong Son with sex workers aged 15 to 18, as well as some girls under 15, from 2012 to 2016.

The two madams, Piyawan Sukmak, 27, and Piyathas Parpthiensuwan, 31, were each sentenced to 183 years in jail, while former cop Senior Sgt-Major Yutthachai Thongchat, 43, received a 309-year jail term. Kalaya Wutthikhun, 41, got a 65-year term.

The first three were also ordered to each pay Bt850,000 in compensation to the victims, while Kalaya must pay Bt500,000 compensation. 

The sentences will be added to jail terms already handed down in the first case on April 18. 

The April ruling found eight defendants, including Piyawan, Piyathas, Yutthachai and Kalaya, guilty of human trafficking, underage prostitution and other charges, and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from eight to 320 years. They will actually serve no more than 50 years behind bars, the maximum penalty for their crimes.

Yutthachai had worked at the Nam Piang Din Police Station but was fired when the scandal broke last year. Eight other cops in the province were also dismissed after being implicated as customers of underage sex workers. 

The case came to light when the 43-year-old mother of one teenage victim filed a police complaint. 

Frustrated by a lack of progress after six months of investigation, she contacted media to expose the prostitution racket. 

Many state officials were subsequently implicated for purchasing sex services from minors. Many of the children reportedly had owl identification tattoos on their chests. 

Provincial Governor Suebsak Iamvijarn was transferred to an inactive post in Bangkok pending a probe result into the allegation. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing and reinstated. Police say one of five Nonthaburi politicians who allegedly bought sex from the girls had drunkenly claimed to be Suebsak.

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