Cops linked to brothel with 121 prostitutes
Station chief, three seniors transferred
The chief of Huai Khwang police station and three other senior police officers were transferred Wednesday to inactive posts pending an investigation following a raid in which more than 120 sex workers were caught in a massage parlour.
The four police officers who have been abruptly transferred are Kittiphong Wisetsa-nguan, the station chief; Satsak Chaiprasert, a deputy station chief; Chiraphol Praphanchan, a police inspector for the criminal investigation unit; and Suphaphat Sawatdi, a police inspector in charge of crime suppression.
The transfer order was signed by Wichanwat Borirakkul, chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau's Division 1, under instruction from acting city police chief Sanit Mahathavorn.
On Wednesday, Department of Provincial Administration officials raided Nataree Massage on Ratchadaphisek Road in Huai Khwang district and detained 121 females including several aged under 18, Social Development and Human Security Minister Adul Sangsingkeo said.
The department acted on a complaint by a non-governmental organisation about girls being trafficked at the parlour.
The detained women and girls, including foreign nationals, worked as prostitutes at the parlour, Pol Gen Adul said.
He said at least one Thai and eight Myanmar nationals were clearly victims of human trafficking while 12 others were categorised as "probable" trafficking victims.
Those who consented to work as prostitutes will be prosecuted. Others forced to sell themselves and under-aged girls will be sent to Kredtrakarn Protection and Occupational Development Centre, the Department of Provincial Administration said.
The investigation being conducted into the human-trafficking case consists of three core parts, deputy spokesman of the National Police Office, Piyaphan Pingmuang, said.
Pol Maj Gen Piyaphan said the investigation focuses on individuals involved in trafficking the women, on police who failed to do their jobs, and on police who may have profited from the alleged sex trade at the parlour.
Police have obtained a list purporting to record law enforcement units which may have received kickbacks from the massage parlour, amounting to tens of thousands of baht for each unit a month.
The investigators were also tracing the money trail to see if others collected kickbacks.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit said the Interior Ministry will decide whether to close the massage parlour. Its owner will be charged with running a prostitution business, acting as a procurer, opening the premises to the sex trade and being involved in human trafficking.
He said he had ordered other city police stations to inspect entertainment venues in their areas.