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Woman guilty of Thai sex slavery in Australia

An Australian court on Wednesday convicted a 45-year-old woman of keeping a Thai cosmetic saleswoman as a sex slave and forcing her to service more than 720 clients to pay off a debt.

By Agence France-Presse

Wednesday 11 April 2012, 01:51PM

Watcharaporn Nantahkhum, 45, was found guilty in Canberra's Supreme Court of six sex slavery-related charges relating to the woman she recruited to come to Australia as a sex worker in 2007.

The victim, whose identity was withheld, told the court her passport was taken once she arrived and she was forced to see more than 720 clients over three and a half months to pay off an Aus$43,000 (US$44,000) debt Nantahkhum said she owed.

She said she had decided to work as a prostitute to help pay the mortgage on her rice field and put her son through school.

Nantahkhum offered the victim a bribe to keep quiet about her circumstances, and was convicted of perverting the course of justice, as well as intentionally possessing a slave and exploiting a non-citizen.

The slavery charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.



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