Police who offered Thai schoolgirls as ‘dessert’ get long jail terms

Thai schoolgirls - Library image

Two female pimps and a policeman have been sentenced to long jail terms for offering teenage girls as “dessert” for visiting officials in Thailand.

Key points:

  • Police senior sergeant sentenced to 320 years in jail
  • Seven others also jailed
  • The girls were offered to VIPs as “presents”

Some of the young women were allegedly branded with an owl tattoo to show they were part of the prostitution ring.

On Wednesday, the Criminal Court in Bangkok sentenced police senior sergeant major Yutthachai Thongchai to 320 years in prison on charges of human trafficking and prostitution offences.

However, under Thailand’s Criminal Code, the maximum enforceable total jail term other than life imprisonment is 50 years.

Piyathat Papthiensuwan, 31, was sentenced to 176 years in jail, and 27-year-old Piyawan Sookmak received a 167-year prison term for recruiting the teenagers.

All three are in custody.

Five other defendants who are out on bail were also convicted, receiving prison sentences ranging between eight and 36 years.

The prosecutor told the ABC she was satisfied with the convictions and long jail terms.

Mae Hong Son Governor Suebsak Iamwichan was initially accused of being involved and transferred to an inactive post, but was later cleared by a police investigation and returned to be governor.

‘She is a present’

The scandal came to light last year when a former police informant said her 17-year-old daughter had been coerced into joining the sex ring.

A local official admitted to organising lavish dinners for visiting VIP guests and then offering them teenage girls to have sex with — often referred to as “dessert”.

“She is a present. She is the same as food, as beautiful clothes — something that has a price,” said Lakkana Punwichai, a Thai columnist covering social issues, who spoke with AFP news agency.

The practice happened for at least two years in Mae Hong Son province.

Three young women coerced into prostitution were moved away from the province and placed under government protection.

Mae Hong Son-based social worker Thiphawan Kamonthammachot told The Straits Times newspaper she spoke to one of the girls involved last year.

“Even when she was having a meal with her mother, she had to leave,” said Ms Thiphawan.

“If she didn’t, the pimp would send people to find her at home.”

The social workers said the girl was made to have sex with men as often as 10 times a week, and at one point, even with a teacher in her school.

For each session, she was paid 1,000 baht ($41). – ABC.Net



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