Police and Interior Ministry officials raided a Chiang Mai karaoke club parlor where underage boys were pushed into sexual-massage work.
Ronarong Thipsiri, the ministry’s law-enforcement chief, said the July 21 raid on the commercial building on Chang Klan Road came after a tip from the Ronnasit Foundation to the government’s complaint center.
Authorities arrested “Sri”, a 56-year-old transgender woman. She faces six charges of human trafficking, pimping of underage minors, operating a prostitution business, encouraging lewd behavior by minors, possession of pornography, computer crime.
Ronarong said the karaoke club and massage parlor had used Twitter to recruit both boys and customers. An undercover officer booked an appointment with a 17-year-old via Line, setting up the sting operation. The fee was 1,600 baht, with 1,000 baht going to the boy.
Ronnasit Prukyacheeva, president of his eponymous foundation, said the parlor had been on his target list for some time but, due to the coronavirus lockdown, the foundation was unable to proceed.
Questioned by authorities, the boys said their friends invited them to work as waiters for the karaoke club, but were coerced into providing sexual-massage services to men, even though they are not gay.
The investigation is being expanded to track down the club’s customers and others who assisted in the sex trafficking.