BANGKOK – Police on Wednesday arrested two women and charged them with human trafficking and attempting to pimp an 11-year-old Cambodian girl at Soi Cowboy, one of Bangkok’s most popular nightspot areas for foreigners.
Police identified the suspects on outstanding warrants issued by Criminal Court as Pao (surname not known), a 32-year-old Cambodian, and Chatsiri Thongdee, 46, a Pathum Thani native.
Acting on a tip-off from the Labour Right Promotion Network Foundation, officers apprehended Mrs Pao at Soi Cowboy and arrested Mrs Chatsiri at an apartment in Sai Mai district near Don Mueang airport in northern Bangkok.
Mrs Pao allegedly took the Cambodian youngster to a guesthouse between Feb 2-5 to provide sexual services to a 65-year-old Swedish tourist identified only as Jorgen. She and the Swede allegedly met and arranged the meeting at a Soi Cowboy bar.
Mrs Chatsiri allegedly served as Mr Jorgen’s interpreter, according to the head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, Pol Maj Gen Chavalit Sawaengphuet.
Mrs Pao denied the allegation, saying the girl was left in her care after her mother, Sawauan Kaew, temporarily returned to Cambodia. She claimed the Swede contacted her to buy sex from the girl but she did not charge him any money.
Mrs Chatsiri said Mr Jorgen hired her to be his interpreter for 3,000 baht. She only knew the man rented two rooms at the hotel but did not know he bought sex from an underage girl.
Police got an arrest warrant for Mr Jorgen, but he reportedly had left Thailand. Police said they were contacting Swedish authorities to provide them with information on the case. Investigators say they believe the Swedish man had been involved in buying sex from underage girls in the past, reportedly videotaping his sessions for release in other countries, Pol Maj Gen Chavalit said.
The Cambodian girl has been sent to a rehabilitation program under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and will be provided with temporary shelter and counseling.