Arrested Thai prostitutes to receive consular aid in Chicago

Wilaiwan Phimkhalee is charged with running a brothel that employed Thai prostitutes in forced labor. She allegedly entered a sham marriage with a prostitution customer to obtain legal immigration status in the United States. | Facebook

The Thai Consulate-General in Chicago will arrange for a lawyer and an interpreter to help 20 arrested and indicted with being members of a sex trafficking network involving Thai women in the US, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

According to a statement of the ministry, the consulate-general was coordinating with US agencies to render assistance to all the defendants – both the victims and those under arrest.

The 20 arrested defendants and one who is still at large will be presented to the federal courts in their respective states for indictment within 24 hours. They are being held in custody in their residing states and the cases will be transferred to Minnesota in due course, said the ministry.

The arrests are a follow-up efforts by US authorities following the earlier arrest and indictment of 17 defendants of this network in October 2016.

Read –  Hundreds of Thai prostitutes being rounded up in America

Ms Busadee Santipitak, director-general of the Information Department said the victims would be protected by US authorities and they would be allowed to stay in the US until the cases were closed.

Also, she said US authorities have the right not to report of updates of the cases to officials of the Thai embassy or the Consulate-General’s office. – ThaiPBS

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