Thailand Busts Sex Trade Syndicate: Cambodian Woman, Four Lao Women Apprehended

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Thailand Busts Sex Trade Syndicate: Cambodian Woman, Four Lao Women Apprehended
A woman seen in the photo, blurred by police, is one of four Lao women arrested for allegedly providing sex services at a resort in Bang Bung district, Chon Buri province. (Photo: Central Investigation Bureau)

Thailand’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) apprehended a 36-year-old Cambodian woman, identified as Sofia, on 15 March for allegedly luring four Lao women (aged 21, 24, 28, and 38) into the sex trade at a resort in Ban Bung district of Chon Buri, Thailand.

The arrest unfolded following a tip-off received by ATPD police regarding suspicions of sex services being offered by Lao women at the resort, with an internal accomplice orchestrating the operation.

Undercover officers, posing as customers, interacted with Sofia, employed as a housekeeper at the resort. She allegedly offered sex services to Lao women for THB 1,300 (USD 36.15) each, offering photographs for selection. 

After a team of officers arrived and conducted a thorough search of the premises, one Lao national was found ready to provide services, while three others were apprehended from various resort accommodations.

Upon interrogation by the authorities, Sofia reportedly confessed to facilitating the transactions for a fee of THB 200 (USD 5.56) per instance, while the four Lao women admitted to renting rooms at the resort to offer sex services, allegedly engaging in this illicit activity for over a month. Items seized from the individuals included a mobile phone, lubricant gel, and ten condoms.

All five individuals were handed over to officers at Ban Bung police station for legal action. Sofia faces charges of procuring or persuading women into the flesh trade and related offenses, while the four Lao women were arrested for their alleged involvement in prostitution. 

Despite the charges being filed, authorities continue their investigation into the case.

This incident comes on the heels of a similar crackdown in Laos conducted last month when authorities in Pak Ngum district, Vientiane Capital, raided nine entertainment venues and arrested 48 sex workers, including four minors. 

The case highlights the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in combating human trafficking and exploitation in the region.