Aunt disputes 'rescued' girl's story of forced prostitution
- Published: 24/05/2013 at 05:32 PM
- Online news:
A 17-year-old girl who was helped to leave South Korea after contacting a policeman on Facebook and complaining of forced prostitution will be brought in for further questioning after her aunt gave a different account of events, Pol Maj Gen Pol Maj Gen Chawalit Sawaengphuet said on Friday.
Pol Maj Gen Chawalit, commander of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, announced this at a press conference after the girl's aunt, Phiangjai Kim, 37, was taken into police custody on her arrival at Suvarnanabhumi airport on Thursday night from South Korea.
Mrs Phiangjai flew to Thailand on learning that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.
Earlier, the Criminal Court approved warrants for the arrest of Mrs Phiangjai, another Thai woman Thippawan Tempao, 26, and a Korean man Chun Song-kuem, 36.
They were accused of colluding in a plot in which the girl claimed she was offered a restaurant job in Seoul but was instead forced to have sex with customers for 20 hours a day at a brothel fronting as a Thai traditional massage parlour in Seoul.
The girl sent a Facebook message complaining of her plight to a policeman friend in Sakon Nakhon, and with the aid of the Thai embassy and Seoul police was returned to Thailand.
Pol Maj Gen Chawalit said Mrs Phiangjai plead her innocence and gave a different version of events.
She said her niece went to South Korea voluntarily and with her parents' consent.
The girl's mother had previously gone to South Korea to work, but her stay lasted only two days because she was arrested and deported by immigration officials, Mrs Phiangjai said.
Mrs Phiangjai said the girl was employed to give massages, there was no prostitution.
She believed her niece contacted the police officer in Khok Si Suphan district of Sakon Nakhon on Facebook and told a lie because she wanted other people to help bring her back to Thailand.
Mrs Phiangjai said she did not know why the girl did not talk to her and instead caused trouble and dragged her into a legal problem. Her reputation had been tarnished without reason, she added.
Pol Maj Gen Chawalit that since a warrant had already been issued for her arrest, the aunt would be formally charged and interrogated, and then be taken to the Criminal Court for arraignment. Once in court she could seek release on bail and then fight the case.
He said because Mrs Phiangjai gave a different account of events, the girl would be again brought in for questioning in the presence of a psychologist, a social welfare worker and a prosecutor.
Mrs Phiangjai has been hit with five charges, including collusion to commit human trafficking and luring and forcing others into prostitution.
About the author
- Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham