Two underage girls, one only 14-years-old, were rescued from a karaoke shop in Bangkok following a police raid. The victims were confined at the venue and forced into prostitution, according to police.
Bangkok Police led by Pol. Lt. Gen. Thiti Saeng, commander of the Metropolitan Police, raided a karaoke venue located on Soi Songprapha 12 in Bangkok’s Don Mueang district after receiving a tip from informants that the venue was involved in human trafficking of female children.
During a search, police rescued two underage girls, a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old, from the venue, and arrested the 42-year-old owner of the shop, Ms. Naruemon (last name withheld by police).
The suspect was apprehended with two 1,000-baht banknotes used as bait by police.
According to Lt. Gen. Thiti, police found out that the venue owner allegedly hired girls under 18 years old to work for her. The employees were paid 240 baht for the first hour of catering to customers, followed by 120 baht for each subsequent hour. However, the owner would first deduct 20 baht from that money and then an additional 100 baht for the following hours for various offenses and penalties.
Lt. Gen. Thiti also stated that the owner forced her underage employees into prostitution. The victims would receive 2,000 baht and then have to pay the owner 500 baht. If the victims went out with customers for too long, they would have to pay another 500 baht. Each victim would be forced to work for 3-4 months, with some of them being able to escape. Those who remained had to endure the job because they were indebted to the shop, Lt. Gen. Thiti stated.
“The victims were confined at the venue and if they needed to go out to buy something from a convenience store, someone would accompany them,” Lt. Gen. Thiti said.
Ms. Naruemon faced several human trafficking charges. Police also disclosed that she had a previous record of being arrested for similar charges.