Two human trafficking suspects arrested in Bangkok


BANGKOK, Sept 5 – Thai authorities have arrested and charged two suspected human traffickers, an Uzbek woman and a Thai man alleged to have been involved in luring another Uzbek woman into prostitution in the Thai capital.    

Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) Police on Thursday arrested an Uzbek woman, and a Thai man identified as Phornchai Pantikote at Soi Nana in downtown Bangkok with an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court on suspicion of conspiracy to commit human trafficking.

The 25-year old victim, alias Jenny, earlier sought help from the Consulate-General of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Bangkok, claiming that the Uzbek suspect invited her to join in a clothing business which export clothes from Thailand to Uzbekistan. The suspect provided her with an air ticket to Thailand.

Once in Thailand, the victim was forced into prostitution in the Nana area to pay back the 90,000 baht air ticket. The Thai male suspect threatened to assault her and plant her with drugs so that she would be arrested by police if she refused to become a sex worker. The victim said Mr Phornchai claimed connections with senior police officers.

Mr Phornchai denied that he forced the victim into the sex trade but said he told her to repay the air ticket. He said he worked as a taxi driver in Soi Nana.

Meanwhile, Anti-Trafficking commander Pol Maj Gen Chavalit Sawaengphuet said most Uzbek women travel to Thailand to work as sex workers, adding that the two suspects will be questioned further.