BANGKOK – A South Korean man and a Thai woman have been arrested for alleged involvement in a sex trafficking ring which forced Thai women into prostitution in South Korea.
The suspects were identified as Kim Hyoung-joon, 39, of South Korea and Chatchadaporn Chareonnet, a Thai National.
Ms. Chatchadaporn was apprehended at Don Mueang airport at 00.35am on Friday while Mr Kim was detained in Thailand the same day.
Paisit Wongmuang, chief of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Saturday said the duo were among 10 suspects — three Thais and seven South Koreans — wanted on arrest warrants for sex trafficking issued by Thai authorities.
The move came after the department received a tip-off from a non-profit organisation about the racket.
South Korean authorities later raided a brothel in their country and rescued Thai women who were trafficked there for the flesh industry. Eight Korean suspects were nabbed.
The probe was subsequently widened and implicated the 10 suspects in the sex racket, which is being handled by the DSI as its special case, Pol Col Paisit said.
Arit Thatsapan, director of the department’s human trafficking division 3, said Ms Chatchadaporn was a key suspect in the case as she was a pimp who procured Thai women for the sex trafficking syndicate.
Ms Chatchadaporn exploited social media to lure the victims to South Korea by offering jobs as traditional Thai masseuses with a high salary, good welfare and accommodation.
After entering South Korea with tourist visas, the victims instead were forced into prostitution. They were forced to work hard and also have anal sex with customers.
After work, the victims were detained and monitored by the network’s members, who also seized their passports.
Pol Maj Arit said they were unable to escape as brothels were located in suburban areas.
Even though the victims voluntarily entered the sex trade, it was still illegal in both countries, which have zeroed in on the suppression on flesh trade and human trafficking.
Pol Maj Arit also warned Thai women who wanted to work in South Korea, saying working as masseuses violates South Korean law.
The sex trade is mostly operated in apartments turned into massage parlours with sexual services.
Source: Bangkok Post, The Nation