Police have arrested seven men on human trafficking charges following a crackdown on a child prostitution ring in Bangkok.
The crackdown took place following tip-offs by members of the public in August that a gang had lured boys and girls to sell sex so that its members could buy drugs, said Pol Maj Gen Worawat Watnakornbancha, chief of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division.
Police said Narin Rob-rue was the leader of the gang. The other six suspects were Wayu Pasi, Sittichai Ektasang, Wissanu Montha, Tong (family name unknown), Thanongsak Suriyothai and Wasant Sae Tia.
The suspects operated from a hotel near Hua Lamphong train station.
“There were several groups of customers who were charged 300-500 baht per visit,” Pol Maj Gen Worawat said on Saturday.
If the children refused to cooperate, they would be beaten or tortured with fire and blades.
Fourteen boys and girls aged 10-16 fell victims to the gang, and the girlfriends of the suspects also sold sex, Pol Maj Gen Worawat said.
Police first arrested Prinya Ruenpitak, who they said acted as a procurer, before seeking warrants for 13 others.
The operation involved a lockdown of the venue and searches of six other locations during which mobile phones and bank passbooks were seized.
“The suspects admitted to committing the crime for at least four months. Several of them also had drug and robbery records. They are being questioned before we hand them over to narcotics police,” Pol Maj Gen Worawat said .
Officials from the Social Development and Human Security will take care of the children.
Anyone who has information about child abuse can contact police on the 1300 hotline.