I came across this documentary the other day and found it very interesting on a number of levels.
Firstly, I didn’t realize just how badly human trafficking has taken a foothold on Bangkok and Pattaya. Of course, I’ve seen the African and Russian women on Sukhumvit Road, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that some corrupt police are complicit with their presence and allowing the organisations to operate, presumably for a kick-back, butI had no idea just how deep and dark the problem is.
The authorities are really struggling to infiltrate mafia gangs, so much so that they require the help of specialist agents from outside the country, and NGO workers already tackling similar problems and taking care of abused women.
Secondly, as we know the large majority of Thai prostitutes are “willing” – I use that term as hesitantly as the word “choice” when relating to this industry in Thailand – participants due to economic status, and most women trafficked for prostitution in Thailand are Laotian and Burmese, but what I didn’t know is that there is a huge mafia operation trafficking Uzbek women into Bangkok and Pattaya, an operation previously run from the Grace Hotel in Bangkok.
A special task force has been assigned to infiltrate the problem, along with the same police general credited with bringing down the Russian mafia a few years ago – although I’m sure most of us would agree that it didn’t take long for them to re-establish their organisation in Pattaya and Phuket, and more recently in Koh Samui.
The hardest part of the operation is getting rescued women to testify against the perpetrators. These women are in real danger and so are their families, making it pretty much impossible to break down the organisation and arrest the people at the top of the chain.
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