Lao Woman Rescued from Alleged Captivity in Thailand

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Lao Woman Rescued from Alleged Captivity in Thailand
Praewa, after getting rescured from her employer's house (photo: Naewna)

Udon Thani Provincial Police Station in Thailand executed a rescue operation on 3 March, liberating an 18-year-old Lao woman, Praewa, from a house in Udon Thani where she allegedly endured severe abuse at the hands of her employer.

The rescue operation was initiated following alarming signals through text messages received by Praewa’s brother, Xay, who promptly alerted authorities. According to reports from Thai media, Praewa had been employed as a maid at the residence for a duration of six months.

Upon arrival at the house, police officials didn’t receive any reply from the house owners, despite repeated doorbell rings. But the silence was soon shattered when Praewa emerged from the premises, visibly distraught and attempting to flee over the gate. 

She alleged mistreatment by her employer, a retired health official formerly associated with the Thai Ministry of Health. The Thai Ministry of Health confirmed that the implicated individual retired in 2022 and currently maintains no official ties with the ministry.

Praewa and Xay during at the Udon Thani Provincial Police Station during police interrogation

Originally from Laos’ Champasak Province, Praewa revealed during police interrogation that she had requested her first month’s salary and tendered her resignation due to harassment by her employer. However, her pleas were met with resistance, as her employer threatened legal repercussions and refused to sign her resignation papers, effectively compelling her to stay for an additional five months before seeking assistance.

Authorities have launched an investigation into the matter and have announced plans to conduct a comprehensive examination to determine if Praewa was subjected to sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Thailand’s Channel 7, the accused employer presented a contradictory narrative. Denying all allegations, he portrayed Praewa as a cherished member of the household, highlighting her role as the primary caregiver for his mother. He vehemently refuted claims of assault, asserting that Praewa enjoyed freedom of movement and possessed keys to the property. He expressed deep regret over the accusations leveled against him.

Thai authorities are diligently gathering evidence to facilitate the prosecution of the suspect, vowing to ensure justice prevails for all parties involved. The Lao Embassy in Thailand, closely monitoring developments, has extended support to Praewa and her brother, although concrete measures to safeguard the 18-year-old remain undisclosed.