A top police official at the DSI has implored anyone who knows of such job offers abroad involving ‘Thai massage’ to be suspicious and to report them to the elite police unit to prevent this criminal activity. He particularly identified the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries but sources indicate the trade is worldwide with women also trafficked to Europe including the Czech Republic and Germany under similar pretences which end in ‘debt bondage’ leaving the Thai women working in the sex trade.
A dramatic escape by a Thai woman from a brothel in Abu Dhabi sparked a criminal probe by the Department of Special Investigation that has led to the arrest of three women in Thailand who are to be charged with conspiracy related to human trafficking of women abroad for work in the sex industry.
On Monday, the Deputy Director-general of the Department of Special Investigation warned Thai women to be wary of lucrative job offers to work as masseuses in Middle Eastern countries after the state police agency arrested three women last Wednesday for conspiracy to commit human trafficking and other related offences.
The women acted as ‘brokers’ for the foreign sex shops and brothel owners in Thailand.
Arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court
The three were arrested after warrants were issued by the Criminal Court following an investigation by police after a Thai woman escaped from working in bondage at a brothel in Abu Dhabi recently.
The woman ran from the premises and sought help at the Royal Thai Embassy in the city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
‘Thai Massage’ job offers abroad are a front
The warning from police is being directed at Thai women, facing financial challenges, who may be tempted by lucrative offers of high income abroad while practicing Thai massage.
Police are making it clear that this is nothing but a deceitful euphemism for working in prostitution.
The United Arab Emirates is often at the center of such offers as are other countries such as Bahrain, Malaysia and even European countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic.
Two women from Ubon Ratchathani, one from Chonburi arrested last Wednesday by DSI officers
Two of the women arrested last week were from Ubon Ratchathani province, one was detained in Chonburi by DSI officers.
The women are also being charged with a range of human trafficking offences and collusion causing their victims to be deprived of their freedom.
It is understood from police sources that victims of the racket were told that all their expenses would be paid to travel to the United Arab Emirates. In advance, they were forced to sign a weighty legal document.
Women lured into the trap made to sign legal documents committing them to payment of a debt
The amount involved is understood to have been in the order of ฿63,000 including a flight to Dubai.
Once the Thai women landed in the international city, they were whisked straight away to a massage shop which was a front for sexual services run by a Chinese proprietor.
All the women had their passports taken by the owner and were told that they would be handed back once their debt was paid off through the performance of sexual services for clients.
Taken to a brothel in Abu Dhabi
Some of the women were immediately taken to a brothel in Abu Dhabi where they were also put to work. They were told that failure to cooperate and pay the monies owed as per the legal agreement would mean court prosecution if they returned to Thailand.
The Thai women were also unable to escape continuous oversight by those running the operations and had no access to funding. They were, in effect, being held under control.
Senior DSI officer asks the public to make reports
Details of the disturbing story were given on Monday by the Deputy Director-general of the Department of Special Investigation, Police Lieutenant Colonel Supat Thamthanarug.
He urged any Thai women who are aware of similar offers or proposals to report the activity immediately to the police or the DSI.