Passports found at Ying Kai condo under probe

Passports found at Ying Kai condo under probe

Police are checking almost 20 passports found in a condominium room of “Ying Kai
Police are checking almost 20 passports found in a condominium room of “Ying Kai", the woman at the centre of trafficking allegations, as new accusations are made. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Police are checking almost 20 passports found in a condominium room of Monta "Ying Kai" Yokrattanakan as a new human trafficking allegation emerges that suggests the 56-year-old persuaded young women to "take care" of VIP guests at casinos in Hong Kong and neighbouring countries.

The passports were discovered as Mrs Monta was giving an interview to reporters at Prachaniwet Condominium in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district on Monday. Photographs and video footage of the interview showed the passports scattered on her bed along with other items. 

A source at the Crime Suppression Division said the travel documents could provide information linking Mrs Monta to alleged accomplices or the presumed victims of a range of violations. Police are looking into whether her past actions related to the employment of several young women as maids could be construed as human trafficking.

Officials will question Mrs Monta about the passports while court approval might be sought for a warrant to search her residence.

Praphawan Jaikla, 19, one of Mrs Monta’s employees, told police she had seen about 20 different coloured passports -- red, blue and green -- in her employer’s condo room when she worked there last year. She said Mrs Monta told her the passports belonged to other women who had previously worked for her.

Ms Praphawan was called in to give additional information about her work for Mrs Monta to the CSD police on Wednesday. She was accompanied by lawyer Kamolsak Sriprasert. 

Mr Kamolsak said he and other lawyers representing Mrs Monta’s alleged victims had evidence that showed Mrs Monta had persuaded several women to work in Hong Kong, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. He said the work involved providing hospitality services to VIP guests at casinos but did not elaborate. 

Evidence appeared to show that Mrs Monta was helped by some influential figures including a local politician, a police general and a senior military officer. 

The lawyers have found six more victims. One of them, who was under 18 years old, had been sent to work in Laos for two years by Mrs Monta. 

The team will take another alleged victim from Phayao province to the CSD on Thursday to seek legal action against Mrs Monta, Mr Kamolsak said. 

Ms Praphawan has petitioned the CSD, accusing Mrs Monta of filing a false theft complaint against her after she tried to persuade her to work in Hong Kong but refused. She said Mrs Monta told her that she had sent several women to work there and the work received high payments. 

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