Thai woman linked to Bahrain sex trade held

Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, announces the arrests of nine suspects for human trafficking and related offences during a media briefing on Friday after a seven-day crackdown operation. (Photo from @RTPsokesmen Facebook page)
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A Thai woman wanted for procuring young women into the flesh trade in Bahrain has been arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport, according to the Immigration Bureau.

Ananya Sakulrapha, 37, of Pathum Thani, was apprehended shortly after arriving at the airport on Friday.

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She was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court on March 9 on charges of colluding in human trafficking by procuring women for forced prostitution and illegal detention.

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The arrest followed a complaint by Thai women that Ms Ananya, alias Jae Kai, had offered them jobs at traditional massage businesses in the Middle Eastern country.

After the women arrived in Bahrain, their passports were seized and they ended up working in the sex trade, said Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau.

The three victims managed to escape and sought help from the Thai embassy in Bahrain. Ms Ananya has confessed to the charges, Thai media reported.

Police say Ms Ananya gained the women’s trust by telling them that if they did not receive the massage jobs as promised, she would provide tickets for them to return to Thailand.

The victims believed her and flew to Bahrain, but once they got there they were pressed into providing sex services to customers at hotels.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said Ms Ananya had changed her name three times. She was formerly known as Kotkamol Chanthawong and Malai Chotkapisit. He said she told them she had changed her name because she had overstayed her visa in Bahrain earlier and was on a blacklist there.

The woman was later handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking Division for legal action.

In a related development, Bangkok police said they arrested nine suspects during a seven-day crackdown operation on human trafficking between April 29 and May 5.

The suspects were caught in eight cases involving human trafficking and related offences, said Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

-The Bangkok Post

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