Brakes put on opening of illegal parlour
Old venue at centre of flesh-trade storm
Legal action is being taken against a company which planned to open a new massage parlour on the site of a former fleshpot ordered shut down nearly three years ago.
Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said on Thursday that authorities inspected a building where the Nataree Entertainment massage parlour was previously located in the Huai Khwang area of Bangkok.
There they found a new massage parlour called Little Duck had replaced the old venue.
The four-storey building is divided into nine blocks. It was ordered shut for five years in 2016 by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) pending a decision by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo).
The closure followed a police raid on the establishment in July, 2016 which revealed that scores of women, including underage girls, had been trafficked into the flesh trade.
The raid led to the arrest of massage parlour manager Phonganan Khanakhet, an executive of PSS Entertainment Ltd, Somprasong Soichit, and three others, Phanarin Hanphatthanacharoen, Atapha Laemae and Lapshulap Ngoenpiam.
Pol Gen Srivara said on Thursday the building was used for human trafficking which is punishable under the anti-money laundering law.
Amlo has the power to determine whether the building should be seized or foreclosed on.
The deputy national police chief said the person who requested a licence to open Little Duck was not the same person who held the licence to operate Nataree Entertainment.
He said the new licence could not be granted anyway due to the NCPO closure order, which remains in effect.
Huai Khwang police chief, Pol Col Phurit Jintranont, said the building had been renovated apparently in preparation for the opening of Little Duck. Although Nataree Entertainment occupied only some of the blocks in the building complex, the NCPO order covers the entire building.
The renovation also required modification to the building, which was being carried out illegally.
Police said Huai Khwang district office is filing a complaint against the company behind Little Duck today.
Panchapat Lakdee, the district office chief, said public works officials are conducting a detailed inspection of the site.
Preliminary surveys showed that lifts were installed without permission as had extensions to the building, according to a public works source.
Also, sign boards had been erected without permission advertising the new massage parlour, the source said.