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There are many victims in a tragic case uncovered by human trafficking officers in the north eastern town of Udon Thani yesterday.
Police had become aware that someone was selling underage girls into sex through a Facebook page advertising “Girls looking for work”, reported Thairath.
So they set up a sting operation at a local motel in downtown Udon. A 1,000 baht note and two hundreds were photocopied before the sting began so they would have evidence.
Outside the motel room they were in for a surprise – the pimp selling the girls was not an older man but a 15 year old lady boy. He was immediately arrested.
He told officers that he would give the girl 1,000 baht and keep the rest for himself.
Named only as “A” he told police a sad story of his recent life.
His mother had died and when his father took in another woman two years ago he ran away from home and stayed in downtown Udon with some other male friends who were also lady boys. He was not in school.
“A”, who comes from Phen district of Udon, sold himself for sex at first for 800 baht a time to other men.
After this he moved out to his own rented room and set himself up with the Facebook page offering three girls he knew for sex. He had been doing this for about a year to make ends meet and pay for a Ya Ba habit.
He told investigators that he wasn’t forcing the girls and asked: “Is it so bad?”.
The girl, named only as “B” said that she came from a broken home and had run away and didn’t go to school either. She had sold herself into sex before meeting “A”.
She said her customers were men aged 30-50 and could be construction workers, civil servants or local politicians.
She too needed money to pay for Ya Ba. She told officers she would have between 7 and 10 customers a month and had been doing this for about a year.
She told investigators that she didn’t know she was doing anything illegal and had not been forced into the sex trade.
An investigator in the case asked parents to watch their children. He said that all sides must pull together to stop the conditions that exist whereby such stories happen.
Men need to stop buying sex and he warned apartment and hostel owners and hoteliers not to rent rooms to under 20s or face prosecution.
“B” was set to be taken into the care of a children’s home. As for “A” he had to face the consequences of the law, said officials, but he too would eventually be taken into care so that he could be helped.