SIX Cambodian women trafficked to Thailand under the pretext of receiving legitimate jobs and later forced into prostitution were rescued last week in a raid on a karaoke parlour in Thailand’s Trat province.
Ly Sotheary, executive director of the Healthcare Centre for Children in Koh Kong province, said the six victims – including one minor – were being sheltered at the Ban Krettrakarn Girl’s Shelter in Nonthaburi province. She said the women were being cared for by employees of the Labour Rights Promotion Network, a Thailand-based organisation.
A seventh trafficking victim escaped the karaoke parlour last month, she said, and provided information that led to the raid, which took place on August 5. The raid resulted in the arrests of 21 people, including the victims, other Cambodian prostitutes, customers and two brothel owners.
Thai police eventually released everyone except a Thai man and a Cambodian woman, who owned and ran the karaoke parlour.
The pair have been remanded in custody while awaiting charges in Trat province, which is adjacent to Koh Kong province.
Ly Sotheary said the six Cambodian women would remain in Thailand to provide evidence in the case against the two brothel owners.
The women were “cheated”, she said, after they were promised jobs as maids or in garment factories, fisheries or restaurants.
She said that representatives from HCC would visit the six victims in the coming weeks and observe the trial if the suspects were charged.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a 30-year-old prostitute who worked at the karaoke bar in Trat province and returned to Cambodia last week said that she felt sorry for the victims, especially the underage girl.
“I was very embarrased when we were arrested, but I really pity the true victims,” she said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said that he was unaware of the case. Bun Leut, Koh Kong provincial governor, could not be reached for comment yesterday.