fwd: The Sting

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Subject: fwd: The Sting
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Jul 14 1999 - 14:02:53 EDT

I'm cleaning out my email & sending some news that I hope I haven't already
sent. If so, I apologize for sending them again!

Hope everybody is doing well!


>From the Bangkok Post 5/23/99

> International sex trade FLESH MARKET: More and more Thai women are being
> tricked intoprostitution by global traffickers. Andrew Drummond In a
> noisy Bangkok suburb a young woman hugged her two children and young baby
> and spoke of what happened to her when she was offered a job as a
> in a Thai restaurant in London. "When I arrived the first day they took
> sightseeing and photographed me by the Houses of Parliament, the big
> (Big Ben) and in Trafalgar Square. But after that they locked us up.
> I was taken to see a Chinese. They looked me over and afterwards I was
> told I had been sold for 20,000 pounds (1.14 million baht). To pay off
> this debt I would have to sleep with more than 500 men. "When they
> discovered I was pregnant by my Thai husband they took me to a doctor who
> gave me some medicine to take to abort my baby, but I hid it under my
> tongue and spat it out as I left. "They took me back to a sauna where I
> refused to serve the customers. The Chinese boss told me then I would
> remain a maid and I would have to work for him for the rest of my life
> cleaning the bedrooms and changing the condoms. "But later when a Turkish
> customer came in and asked for me and said he would pay 100 pounds (5,700
> baht) the boss called for me. I refused. He beat me with a stick until I
> was badly cut and bruised, then he chained me up in a room for three
> days."Noi, not her real name, was one of a lucky few who managed to
> from her confinement in a massage parlour in Britain. In another part of
> Bangkok in the lobby of a hotel, a British-Canadian man and a New Zealand
> woman advertise their wares to visiting "buyers" from the United Kingdom.
> "We expect cash on delivery," says the woman, who has just come from a
> meeting at the man's language school in the Lard Prao area of Bangkok
> buyers running massage parlours in Glasgow, Scotland, who disappointingly
> want the girls on credit. "This.. who's trying to screw us, he's got to
> find somewhere else!"she says. The price for each girl on offer today is
> 6,000 pounds, which includes air tickets and the costs of providing a
> visa. The New Zealand woman can turn on the charm as well as having a
> head for business acumen. In earlier monitored meetings she advertised to
> girls how much money they could make. "After six months you can go into
> business for yourself. All you do is you have to pay for your room and 10
> pounds for each customer to the boss who will bring you your customers,"
> she said, stroking one girl's hand. "Your boss will give you a new
> passport when your visa runs out. By the way, if you want to contact me
> again you must call me by the name 'Honey'."Then she took a more serious
> tone: "Oh, if you run away and break your contract, you're dead! You know
> that don't you?"At his offices in an apartment in Huay Khwang, a Chinese
> Thai and an assistant, a Malaysian Chinese known as "Peter", had a
> selection of girls ready for transportation to any part of the world.
> many you want? We can supply," said Peter. "No problem with the visa. We
> just send ugly girl to the embassy. She get visa. We change photograph in
> passport."The Thai procurer adds that they can even get proper visas.
> books can be produced with accounts dating back years showing the girls
> have long-term wealth. So can work histories and land property documents.
> For several months colleagues and I penetrated into the heart of
> syndicates trafficking people out of Bangkok to the rest of the world.
> Although most Thai women being trafficked abroad know to what trade they
> will be applying themselves, more and more evidence coming from
> Australasia, Europe and the United States shows more women are being
> tricked into this slave trade. Photographs of Noi sightseeing in London
> were used to convince other women to go. As were other pictures of Thai
> girls taken on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. We monitored
> the trade in Chinese illegals to Canada and America, Thai women to Japan,
> Australia and Europe and even watched as Iraqis and Pakistanis waited in
> vans in the basement car park at Don Muang airport, before being moved
> hurriedly through Immigration on a Garuda flight to Britain-on tickets
> taken from foreigners who had already checked in for the flight.
> Investigators working for the British Channel 4 programme Dispatches
> rounded off the enquiry into the trade in Thai women with a "sting".
> Booking into Bangkok as potential buyers running an escort service in
> London and with their own website they lured Bangkok's human traffickers
> out in front of hidden cameras-on the promise of easy pickings in a
> potentially new market. First stop was a bar in the Sukhumvit area whose
> lease was owned by a New Zealand couple. When the New Zealand man arrived
> in Thailand nine years ago he set up a pottery business, did some work
> an animal welfare group, and set up an agency sending Thai students
> abroad. But the man and his wife had for a long time found easier
> in trafficking women. We were able to document several trips the couple
> had made separately to Japan, Australia and the United States, before
> Channel 4 investigators entrapped him after putting in a bid for his
> dismal bar. The New Zealand man has a website in which he touts for
> donations for his animal projects in Thailand. But he has, of course, no
> wild life projects in Thailand, in fact the projects he advertised were
> either run by other charities or the Royal Forestry Department. In fact
> uses his computer to make web pages for business clients and to scan
> pictures of Thai girls to send to potential customers abroad. Hoping for
> ready cash from the sale of his bar he introduced the "buyers" to the
> procurer, Peter, and another Thai-Chinese called Chiang. Chiang boasted
> how he took photographs of all the girls naked, and would post them
> their home villages if they broke his contract. The New Zealand man, now
> acting as the agent for the buyers, also invited the British-Canadian and
> the New Zealand woman nicknamed "Honey" into meetings, all of which were
> secretly filmed. The British-Canadian boasts he is a master of the trade.
> He speaks fluent Thai and from time to time he runs a language school in
> the Lard Prao area. But that often closes when he is away on trips. One
> such trip was last September when he was held in jail in Antigua for
> weeks en route to Canada where he was delivering three Chinese illegals.
> Talking about the trade of Thai girls to Britain he said: "London is
> opening up again. They had a lot of trouble with Triads there beating up
> the girls, cutting their bloody fingers off and all sorts of weird shit
> going down."The British-Canadian knows. He had direct links with a
> parlour in London run by Chinese Triads called "The Solitaire", and other
> parlours in Scotland. The Chinese apparently took out a murder contract
> a "jockey" (foreigner who escorts the girls abroad) who ran off with the
> sales cash. It is somewhat ironic that "Honey", as a 29-year-old woman,
> who told Channel 4 investigators that she thought the New Zealand man was
> a "chauvinistic pig", should make her money from the sale of other women
> overseas. Her contempt for Thai women however was apparent: "My husband
> won't touch them," she was overheard saying. Her husband, an American
> citizen, runs an import-export business with her from Phuket. While in
> Bangkok doing their exporting of human cargo they were staying at an
> apartment in the Sukhumvit area. "Honey" has worked as a courier taking
> women on several trips we can document to Canada, via South Africa and
> Caribbean. Both "Honey" and her American husband work with a Thai
> because, she says: "We do not have the cash to set up the deals
> ourselves."The New Zealand couple, the Thai procurer, the
> British-Canadian, "Honey", Chiang, and Peter are just a few players in
> profession of human trafficking operating in Bangkok. Australian, British,
> Canadian and American immigration teams have all come to the city to
> attempt to curb the trade which often ends in virtual slavery. British
> immigration officials have uncovered links to the trade in Iraqis to
> Britain to one of the largest go-go bars in Bangkok. Links have also been
> established connecting the trade in humans and drugs trafficking.
> Following the exposure on Channel 4 Dispatches the "Solitaire" massage
> parlour in Clapton, London, was raided by the Scotland Yard Vice Squad.
> But instead of holding the eight Thai girls rescued, to give evidence
> against their captors, they were immediately deported. Similarly, when
> massage parlours in Northampton in the British Midlands were raided last
> year the girls were also immediately deported. An English Labour Member
> Parliament, Mr Joe Ashton, who had come out of a hot tub with a
> Thai woman just before the raid, however, has announced he will not be
> standing for re-election. In London this week Thai Foreign Minister Surin
> Pitsuwan discussed the trafficking question with officials of Britain's
> Foreign Office. The Royal Thai Police have been given a file on the
> revelations, but have as yet not acted. Investigations can of course be
> hampered. Many exports of human cargo could not take place without the
> support of some immigration officers at Thailand's international airports
> in Bangkok, Hat Yai and Phuket. Complaints have been raised in the past
> even within the Immigration Police. Sudarat Sereewat, a member of the
> House Justice and Human Rights Sub-Committee, said: "While many Thai
> travelling abroad for these syndicates know what they will be doing, they
> have absolutely no idea of how many men they have to sleep with or the
> conditions under which they have to work. This is a national issue which
> should be taken seriously by the Government."u Editor's note: Both Andrew
> Drummond, correspondent for the Times of London, and Sudarat Sereewat
> assisted Channel 4 Dispatches in the making of the programme "The Sex
> Slave Trade", but they have complained to Channel 4 that London-based
> investigators breached promises not to identify victims of this trade and
> used some unnecessary and exploitative footage. Facts and figures This
> is the cost a Thai procurer broke down for taking a girl to the United
> Kingdom. Fee for introduction to woman: 20,000 bahtPayment to "jockey" or
> escort a woman to embassy: 30,000Flight tickets: 60,000Documentation:
> 20,000Payment to jockey for trip: 50,000Jockey's and girl's expenses:
> 50,000Administrative expenses: 100,000Total: 330,000The price for sending
> girls to Australia and Japan are comparable. A jockey taking a girl to
> Hong Kong or Singapore will get just 12,000 baht plus expenses. Although
> Thais don't require special visas, they can be sent back if their motives
> are suspected.

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