Thai authorities took 10 Laotian women into custody when they were found working at a restaurant in Loei province which fronted for an elaborate brothel with hotel rooms in a compound. Police are trying to ascertain if any of the women were forced into the prostitution industry or were underage.

This week, Thai police raided a sex hotel in the country’s northern province of Loei where they found 10 women from Laos working as prostitutes. The coordinated raid was lead by the chief of the investigation and crime suppression division of the provincial authority. Thai officials are reported to be anxious to establish if there are any links between the facility and a criminal network believed to be importing Laotian women into Thailand to work in the sex trade.

Thai police debrief the young women found working at the brothel in Thailand’s Loei province that was raided last Thursday by a Thai police task force including provincial authorities and the DSI. The women were living in communal quarters and working at a restaurant which fronted as a brothel with hotel rooms in a compound.  10 women from Laos were detained by authorities.

It is a province in the northern of Thailand. Mountainous, the economy is dominated by agriculture. The province borders Laos partly defined by the Mekong River.

It is also home to an active sex for sale industry which, increasingly in Thailand, is being seen to involve women from Laos, Thailand’s poorer and communist-controlled neighbouring state.

Thriving restaurant was front for an elaborate brothel within a motel type compound

This week on Thursday, Thai police swooped on a thriving restaurant in Loei which was also a front for a thriving prostitution business and brothel. They had received a tip-off linking the establishment to human trafficking which is a now top priority for law enforcement in Thailand.

Elite DSI investigators joined the raid

The elaborate raid on the premises was lead by Ronnarong Thipsiri who is the chief of the investigation and crime suppression division of the provincial authority in Loei province. As in other raids throughout Thailand where human trafficking is suspected, the force included DSI police officers attached to Thailand’s Ministry of Justice.

Women employed to provide sexual favours to male patrons of the sex business

The target of the raid was an establishment named ‘Ya Idcha’ which means ‘Don’t Envy’ in English. The establishment comprised of a restaurant in front of a compound where there were hotel rooms for hire was in a motel type setting. Most of the staff who worked at the restaurant were sex workers or prostitutes. They were employed by the establishment to provide sexual favours to men who paid preset rates.

As a result of the raid, the owners of the business now face charges concerning the procurement of women for the purpose of prostitution. They are also facing charges of failing to register the business and failing to have the appropriate licence to operate a hotel establishment.

10 Laotian women arrested and taken by Thai police for questioning into the operations of the brothel 

Thai police officers who took part in the raid arrested 10 women at the establishment and these were being held for questioning by authorities. Investigators are trying to establish the exact age of the women and to ascertain whether any of them may have been forced or coerced into the sex industry. Evidence and photographs from the scene of the raid showed the women were living in a communal area within the premises

Concern at the number of women from Laos turning up at raids on sex for sales establishments in Thailand

The frequency with which Laotian women are beginning to turn up in Thai police raids is also raising concerns. Thai police investigators in Loei province are now trying to find out if there may be an underground criminal network trafficking women from Laos into Thailand to work as prostitutes in sex for sale establishments like the ‘Ya Idcha’ restaurant and motel. Officials are also anxious to unearth any links or contact with officials working for the Thai state or provincial administration who might be connected to the activity.

Fight against underage sexual abuse minors and corruption of state officials now being waged as a priority by police in Thailand

The suppression of human trafficking is linked with senior Thai police authorities with a determined campaign to simultaneously fight and eliminate entirely the abuse of minors in the sex industry and also official corruption. They are also targeting criminal activity spanning international borders. If such links were discovered in these circumstances, then the case may be taken by Thailand’s elite Department Special Investigations of (DSI).

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Further reading:

DSI arrests: Women warned of sex trafficking snare – massage job offers abroad from prostitution ‘brokers’