BANGKOK — A retired massage parlor kingpin said Wednesday that investigators have it wrong about who owns a brothel where dozens of women were reportedly forced into prostitution.
After police arrested Sasithorn Wirathepsuporn as the person responsible for running Victoria’s Secret, where eight sex workers were found to be underage, former brothel boss turned politician turned talk show host Chuvit Kamolvisit said Sasithorn is merely a proxy for the real owner.
Citing his own experience as a former owner of Victoria’s Secret, which locates close to Rama IX Road, Chuvit said he sold the establishment to businessman Kampol Wirathepsuporn 15 years ago, the ownership has not changed since.
“I told it to Kampol. I negotiated with Kampol. How many places I have sold him? I sold him Victoria. I sold him Copacabana at Ratchada. I sold him Honolulu,” Chuvit said in his talk show on Channel 3. “Kampol got three, four places from me.”
Sasithorn turned herself in to police on Wednesday and was subsequently charged with a number of offenses, including human trafficking. The charges were related to a Friday raid on Victoria’s Secret which turned up at over 100 sex workers. Police said they include those who are underage or trafficked into the sex trade.
The case is being led by the Department of Special Investigation, which operates independently from the police. Deputy department chief Songsak Raksaksakul allowed that Sasithorn might not be the real owner, and investigators are still looking into details.
“Right now it’s not confirmed who was the owner who invested in it,” Songsak said. “We have to look into evidence documents first.”
He added that the force will soon summon Chuvit for questioning about what he knows.
“Mr. Chuvit himself hasn’t produced any document to support his claim. It’s just one person talking,” Songsak said. “The case needs evidence of transaction. He needs to show us the evidence.”
Kampol is listed by business registries as a major shareholder of a massage parlor firm in Bangkok called Pome Thong Ltd. Someone answering the phone there said Kampol does not work from there.
Songsak said at least eight sex workers rescued from Victoria’s Secret have been proven by medical tests to be underage. All of them are from neighboring countries, he said.
The department deputy chief also disputed reports on some media sites that the raid was an attempt to blackmail entrepreneurs connected to Victoria’s Secret into supporting junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha’s bid to return as an unelected prime minister after the next election.
“There’s no politics involved,” Songsak said. “Everything is in accordance with the evidence. We are not singling out anyone.”