Social Development and Human Security Minister Paveena Hongsakul and the police Anti Human-Trafficking Division jointly held a news conference on the arrest of Virat Tulprawat, a 49-year-old vegetable vendor at Mahachai Market in Samut Sakhon province, and a Lao woman, identified as Tai.
The pair were accused of human trafficking for forcing eight Lao girls, aged between 13 and 20 years old, to do hard work.
Ms Paveena said the ministry's Prachabodi Call Center 1300 was notified that two Lao girls escaped from their employers and sought help from the Thai authorities.
Police rescued the other six girls and arrested the two suspects in the case.
Initial investigation found that the young women were lured by their agents to be sent to work in Thai cloth shops. When they arrived Thailand, it turned out that they were forced to work at vegetable stalls from 7pm until midnight every day without pay for almost two years.
If they refused to work, they were beaten by Ms Tai, their compatriot. They were locked in their rooms after working hours.
Ms Virat, the other accused, denied all the charges. She conceded that she paid to agents for importing the girls but she did not force or beat them for work.
The detainee said she sent Bt3,500 to the parents of the eight girls every month.
She also claimed that other fresh produce stalls at Mahachai Market usually hire workers in similar process as hers but none face similar consequences.