Head of a children’s shelter in southern Thailand charged with involvement in child prostitution
The police have a deputy director of a child and youth shelter organization (DCY) charged with interfering in the investigation of a child prostitution gang in Surat Thani.
The arrest came after police raided a total of 18 sites linked to trafficking minors for prostitution last Wednesday, including the children’s shelter.
The raids followed the arrest of 16 people last November for child sex trafficking. Since then, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and other organizations have been working with police to locate 18 other suspects.
All 18 suspects are wanted on child sex-related charges, including conspiracy to operate a child sex trafficking gang and lure minors into prostitution.
These violations are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to 2 million baht.
Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn, assistant chief of the national police, told a news conference that the investigation pointed towards the Surat Thani Shelter for Children and Families.
The findings involved a number of officials, including a deputy. director of the DCY, the chairman of a local savings cooperative, and a deputy. chairman of the board of the administrative organization of the Phunphin district, as well as soldiers, teachers and doctors in the area.
He said an official identified as “Aem” had assaulted children at the shelter to pressure them into prostitution. The detectives also established that a deputy director of the DCY also played a role in obstructing the police investigation.
The deputy director has also been charged with a misdemeanour. Investigators are now collecting evidence to submit to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Lieutenant-General Surachate said.
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