Sasithorn Wirathepsuporn, 45, a key shareholder of Amarin Onsen Limited Partnership, which operates Victoria’s Secret Massage, was accompanied by her lawyer as she turned herself in to deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul at the Royal Thai Police.
Gen Srivara said Sasithorn denied the charge. She was one of eight people sought on arrest warrants issued yesterday by the Criminal Court.
Police did not allow Sasithorn to seek bail because the charge carries severe penalties. The suspect was later handed over to Wang Thong Lang Police for questioning and will be taken to the Criminal Court today (Jan 17) with police to seek her continued detention.
Wang Thong Lang Police investigators had obtained warrants for the eight from the court. All faced over 10 charges for allegedly being engaged in the sex trade, and breaching immigration law and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, he said.
Gen Srivara said a probe indicated that Sasithorn held shares in over 10 companies which run massage parlours, including Victoria’s Secret Massage, in the Inthamara area and Din Daeng district. Police also worked with the Revenue Department to examine the firms’ money trails.
Investigators were examining the remaining firms to track down other suspects in the case while evidence would also be acquired from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Department of Provincial Administration.
Last Friday, the DSI, military and local officers launched a raid on Victoria’s Secret Massage on Rama IX Rd in Huai Khwang district. More than 80 women found there are believed to have been forced into prostitution.
Authorities widened the probe and later found 20 state officials including senior police were allegedly implicated in documents, found at the parlour, which could expose a human trafficking network.
Gen Srivara said no arrest warrants have been issued for officers yet as police were having trouble identifying them. “I admit it is difficult to identify officers linked to the parlour because only their positions appear in those papers, not their names,” he said. “Also, the verification of the ages of the women detained at the parlour is not yet complete. The results are expected today,” he said.
He also instructed four police agencies to set up panels to probe any of their officers suspected of being embroiled in the case. They are the Central Investigation Bureau, the Tourist Police Bureau, the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the Immigration Bureau. Their officers appeared in the documents. Officers who were found linked to the racket will face disciplinary and legal action.
Also yesterday, DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang said he was ready to sign an order to treat the matter as a special case. Additional warrants could be issued for two other shareholders. Former politician and broadcaster Chuvit Kamolvisit, who founded Victoria’s Secret Massage, will be invited to give information on the trade.
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