NAKHON PATHOM — Police say they have rescued 23 young Thai and Laotian women who were allegedly being held captive in a karaoke shop in central Nakhon Pathom where they were forced into prostitution.
Anti-human trafficking police organized the raid following a tip off from an NGO worker who received a text message from one of the women seeking help. Sixteen of the victims are under the age of 18, police say.
One of the victims told police she came to Nakhon Pathom several months ago after a Thai dealer offered her a job at Nong Fuse karaoke bar, where she was told she would earn more money than she did in Laos.
However, the woman said that she has been forced to sleep with customers and is only earning around 200 baht of the 1,000 baht each client is charged.
According to police, no arrests have been made yet as the karaoke bar’s owners appear to have fled the premises before the raid.
The victims are now staying at a state-run shelter home for mental and physical recovery, a police officer said.
On the same day, police also raided a brothel in Udon Thani and rescued four Laotian women, thanks to a tip off from another NGO organisation. A woman has been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and running a prostitution ring.
Thailand is a major source, transit, and destination for sex trafficking. The majority of sex workers in Thailand are foreigners from neighboring countries and more than two thirds of them are under the age of 18.
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