Three Thai women have been repatriated after being duped into prostitution in Myanmar, according to the founder of the Pavena Foundation for Women and Children.
Paveena Hongsakul said the foundation brought the mother of a 23-year-old victim, known only as Ms Mai, a Chiang Rai native, to Mae Sai police in the province on Thursday to meet her daughter and two other young women.
Ms Paveena was told that an advertisement on TikTok deceived Ms Mai into travelling to Kengtung state in Myanmar on May 18, but she ended up being sold in Mong Nawng, a town in Shan state. Her passport was confiscated, and she was forced into prostitution and to take drugs. If she resisted, she was beaten.
The other two women were also duped into prostitution at Mong Pawk via the tourism advertisement to tour Kengtung.
Ms Mai’s relatives contacted the foundation for help, leading to Ms Paveena coordinating with Thai consular officials and Myanmar police to aid the women.
The three were brought to a police station, where they waited for a car to pick them up. However, they did not want to wait and took motorcycle taxis to a border town in Chiang Rai, but motorcycle taxi drivers instead held them for a ransom of 5 million baht in total.
The women escaped the gang members and came across a male school teacher who sent them to a police station to file a report.
But the police instead pressed charges against the three for illegal entry and fined them 4,000 baht each. They were then put in jail for three months. After they completed their term, the foundation sent financial aid and repatriated them to Thailand.