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Thai police release 70 women and girls after trafficking raid

From Kocha Olarn, CNN
  • Police say the females are from Laos and Myanmar
  • 41 were forced into prostitution; 29 were willfully working as prostitutes
  • About 20 who were forced into prostitution are under 18 years old, a police official says
  • Five suspects are in custody, charged with human trafficking
  • Thailand
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Human Trafficking

Bangkok (CNN) -- Thai authorities have released 70 women and girls originally from Laos and Myanmar following a trafficking raid in southern Thailand.

District police and Thai special investigators raided a karaoke bar and a spa Friday night, said Lt. Col. Noppadon Petsut, deputy police chief of Sadao district.

Forty-one of the females released had been forced into prostitution, Petsut said.

The other 29 were willfully working as prostitutes and were fined and released.

Of those forced into prostitution, about 20 trafficking victims are under age 18, Petsut said.

Thai police arrested five suspects -- three Thais, one Malaysian and one Singaporean, Petsut said. All were detained and charged with human trafficking and illegally allowing illegal migrants to stay in Thailand.

The raid took place after the Department of Special Investigation received a call from the Laotian embassy in Bangkok saying there were Laotians being forced into prostitution, Petsut said.