Hundreds of Thai Women Rescued in United States after Authorizes Bust Thai-US Sex Trafficking Ring

US Attorney Andrew Luger announces the indictment of 17 people in an international sex trafficking ring

Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu announces the indictment of 17 people in an international sex trafficking ring



MINNASOTA  – The US Attorney Generals office and Homeland Security announced Wednesday that 17 people in a sex trafficking ring stretching from Thailand to various major US cities have been indited and arrested.

Twelve Thai nationals and five Americans were charged with illegally transporting hundreds of women from Thailand and forcing them into prostitution in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and other cities.


Women from Bangkok were flown to Los Angeles the shipped around the US as sex slaves.


US Attorney Andrew Luger of the District of Minnesota said in a statement that the 17 people charged in this indictment ran a highly sophisticated sex trafficking scheme.

Luger said they promised that young Thai women a chance at the American dream, but instead exploited them, coerced them and forced them to live a nightmare. In short, the victims lived like modern day sex slaves.

“The recruiters who met with them in Thailand were helpful, friendly and made the future in the United States sound bright,” Luger said, “but it was all a lie.”

According to the indictment, the organization targeted poor women who spoke little English, and promised them a better life in the US at a debt of US$40,000 to US$60,000.

It said the women were required to repay the debt through forced prostitution, working long hours, every day.

The women, called “flowers” by their traffickers, were made to have sex with strangers for as long as 12 hours a day nearly every day of the week.

The women, called “flowers” by their traffickers, were made to have sex with strangers for as long as 12 hours a day nearly every day of the week.


The women were not allowed to retain any of their earnings while paying off their debt, and were “owned” by a ring-leader named Sumalee Intarathong – a 55-year-old woman who is currently incarcerated in Belgium, the indictment alleged.

The indictment states the sex trafficking scheme has been operating since at least 2009.

Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu said they are committed to finding and rescuing all victims involved in this case. At a press conference on Wednesday, Khu encouraged any other victims still out there to call 612-843-8801.

Authorities say they’ve identified hundreds of victims but “that number could very well grow.” Luger said while this is a huge step in the right direction, the investigation is far from over.

Authorities vowed that the demand side of the conspiracy won’t escape unscathed, with state and local law enforcement agencies targeting “johns” through regular sting operations.


Those charged include:

Sumalee Intarathong (aka: Joy), 55, of Liege, Belgium — who is known as the boss/main trafficker

Chabaprai Boonluea, 42, Winder, Ga., house boss

Watcharin Luamseejun, 46, house boss

Pantilla Rodpholka, 31, Mount Prospect, Ill., house boss

Noppawan Lerslurchachai, 35, Lomita, Calif., facilitator

Khanong Intharathong, 44, Dunwoody, Ga., facilitator

— Andrew Flanigan, 51, Winder, Ga., facilitator

Patcharaporn Saengkham, 41, Los Angeles, Calif., facilitator

Supapon Sonprasit, 31, St. Paul, Minn., facilitator

Thi Vu, 48, Atlanta, Ga., runner

Todd Vassey, 54, Lahanina, Hawaii, runner

John Zbracki, 59, Lakeville, Minn., runner

Meanwhile, In Bangkok the Deputy Commissioner General has confirmed that Thai nationals were involved in a United States human trafficking ring and that it would not affect Thailand’s status on the United States human trafficking report.

Deputy Commissioner General Sriwara Rangsiphrammanakul disclosed that he had been told of the arrests of 12 Thai nationals and five Americans, charged with human trafficking in the United States.

He has instructed the International Affairs Division and the police’s special division to check and determine whether the ring is linked or associated with other individuals in Thailand.




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Posted by on Oct 6 2016. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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