Thai police raided the “Victoria Secret” massage parlour in Bangkok this week after receiving a tip. Of the 100 sex workers there — who were from Thailand and neighboring China, Laos, and Myanmar — at least three where underage and had been forced to sell sex.
The raid has also uncovered that five Thai policemen and one human trafficking official had received free free food, booze, and even massages, opening a separate anti-graft probe.
The Express Tribune reports that other female migrant sex workers — who were not identified as victims of trafficking — may be charged and deported:
Thailand is renowned for its laissez-faire attitude towards prostitution, which is illegal but widely tolerated.
Public officials are routinely implicated in kickback scandals allowing the sex industry to flourish, but police rarely face prosecution in a country where wealth and rank shields wrongdoers from the law.
The age and background of another 25 sex workers from the parlour is being checked in case they are also minors, an official from Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) told reporters on Monday.
“Eighty-five other women could be charged for illegally selling sex and deported,” the official added, requesting anonymity.
Interior Ministry official Kongrob Kratumnat said that the police had seized a computer at the massage parlour and that information on it may be linked to government officials. There is also suspicion that the massage parlour facilitated the trafficking of migrant women through Thailand to Malaysia.
Thailand currently sits on the Tier 2 “Watchlist” of the United States Trafficking in Persons report for failing to meet the “minimum standards” to combat trafficking.