Cops make UAE flesh trade arrest

Cops make UAE flesh trade arrest

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has arrested a woman on suspicion of duping another woman into working as a prostitute in the United Arab Emirates.

DSI director-general Triyarith Temahivong said on Thursday his officers apprehended the Thai woman, whose identity was withheld, in Chanchoengsao on Wednesday.

She was the subject of an arrest warrant approved by the Criminal Court on charges of complicity in human trafficking and procuring and forcing a victim into prostitution, he said.

Mr Triyarith said the DSI had taken up the case for special investigation after the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Dubai brought the matter to its attention.

The woman was among six suspects, Thai and foreign, wanted on arrest warrants sought by the DSI.

Another suspect was arrested in November last year. Authorities are stepping up efforts to track down the other four, Mr Triyarith said.

The case came to light after the victim posted a video appeal on Facebook on Sept 19 last year. It prompted Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to order the Labour Ministry and the Royal Thai Embassy in Abu Dhabi to bring her home. She was repatriated two days later.

The victim told authorities that she was invited to work as a masseuse at a spa in Dubai by a woman whom she knew only as "Ms Lilly", who promised her earnings of up to 40,000 baht a month.

She flew to Dubai on a tourist visa on Sept 16. Upon arrival, she was taken to Ras al-Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, where Ms Lilly immediately confiscated her passport and ordered her to provide sexual services for clients.

When the victim wanted to return home, she was told she would have to pay 70,000 baht to cover travel and other expenses, the DSI said.

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