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The Chiang Mai labor office has warned Thai women who want to work abroad to be careful about being lured into the sex trade.
The warning comes after it has emerged that four women who went to work in Kuala Lumpur ended up locked up and forced into providing sex services in the Malaysian capital, reported Thairath.
They are unable to return home to their families in Thailand while the case is pursued.
Yaowapha Phibunphon warned Thai women about believing the offers of agents who proliferate on Facebook or Line who offer work in massage and spa facilities or restaurants.
She singled out Bahrain – where victims were rescued from earlier this year – Taiwan, South Korea as well as Malaysia as problem countries.
She said that these agents often get mere tourist visas for victims who end up locked up with their passports removed. They are unable to contact relatives and are forced into the sex trade.
Yaowapha said that women who want to work abroad should go through official channels with agencies registered and checked by the labor department to ensure they are not tricked.