[Stop-traffic] News/US: Prostitute-smugglers plead guilty

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Prostitute-smugglers plead guilty
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Sep 05 2000 - 09:00:36 EDT

Prostitute-smugglers plead guilty
The Associated Press, August 13, 2000

HOUSTON (AP) -- Two women who were part of an international ring based in
Bangkok, Thailand have pleaded guilty to smuggling Thai women into Texas
and forcing them to work as prostitutes to pay off their transportation debts.

On Friday, Sriwan Saykai, 28, from Houston, and Ratiporn Tantirojanakitkan,
30, from Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to charges related to the illegal
transportation of undocumented immigrants into the United States,
immigration document fraud and prostitution.

Each woman faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each
charge. They are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 20.

In July, three men - Kuok Tiong Lim, 37, from Bangkok, Phiet The Mai, 27,
from Vietnam, and Hoc Phan, 43, from Houston - pleaded guilty to similar

The men and women were members of an international smuggling ring that
brought Thai and Chinese nationals into the United States. Members of the
group claimed they could smuggle as many as 100 Chinese immigrants per month.

The Thai women were flown into Houston and picked up by INS agents before
they could be taken to "modeling studios," where they were going to be
forced to work as prostitutes until they paid off a $40,000 smuggling fee.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has said the women, most of whom
are in their 20s, will be asked to leave the country voluntarily or will be

Two other people who were indicted on similar charges are still at large.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

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order bride arrangements.
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