Representatives from the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission visit a state shelter in Bangkok to speak with girls rescued during the recent raid on the Victoria’s Secret Massage parlour last Friday. They were tasked with gathering information as part of a probe into allegations that state officials accepted bribes from the brothel in the form of complimentary sex services. Pornprom Satrabhaya
Police Friday sought a warrant to arrest Kampol Wirathepsuporn who owns the brothel Victoria’s Secret Massage.
The request for the warrant also covers his wife who is known as Ms Nipa.
Police said both are wanted on suspicion of being involved in human trafficking and operating brothels. Both face 12 charges.
Meanwhile, the Centre for National Anti-Corruption (CNAC) asked the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to investigate state officials who allegedly took bribes from the brothel operators.
In a raid last Friday on the premises on Rama IX Road in Huai Khwang district, authorities say they found the pair were illegally operating a brothel with about 80 underage girls being forced to offer sex services.
Police also found evidence that several police officers received bribes in the form of free sexual services.
Following the raid, authorities widened the probe and later found 20 state officials, including senior police, were implicated in documents found at the parlour. The investigation could expose a human trafficking network, said Lt Col Kornthip Daroj, acting secretary-general of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) in his capacity as secretary of the CNAC.
Lt Col Kornthip admitted it will be time-consuming investigation to establish the identities of the suspected officials as their full names were not included on the list of patrons.
“Only their nicknames were given, so a subcommittee has been set up to find out who they are. The panel will next speak to the women working at Victoria’s Secret Massage to find out more information,” he said.
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Paisit Wongmuang, said the DSI is in the process of having the sex trade investigation transferred to his department.
The DSI earlier this week resolved to take over the case from Wang Thong Lang police and treat it as a special investigation after evidence emerged pointing to a suspected human trafficking network behind the massage parlour’s business.
National police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul at the time said no arrest warrants had been issued for the state officials yet as police were having trouble identifying them.
Among the evidence showing the case involved human trafficking was that several females detained in the massage parlour raid were under 18, and some adult hosts told investigators they had been forced into prostitution, DSI deputy chief Songsak Raksaksakul said earlier this week.
A source said the DSI now has information about “Sia Kampol”, or Kampol Wirathepsuporn, who former politician and broadcaster Chuvit Kamolvisit said was the real owner of the massage parlour because he acquired the business from him. Mr Chuvit founded the massage parlour.
The same source said DSI investigators will trace the money trail of the brothel starting from a number of credit card readers seized during the raid. The DSI aims to go back to 2013, the source said.
The DSI expects to receive key pieces of evidence seized at the parlour during the raid, including security camera footage, lists of customers — including state officials — receiving free sex services, and information about transactions made by credit cards at the brothel.
Images taken from security cameras at the brothel, for instance, should help in efforts to identify who the state officials who enjoyed free sex services are, he said.
The DSI is working closely with the PACC who interviewed a number of the girls forced into prostitution at the brothel, he said, adding that the girls had been rescued and were now under the care of a shelter called the Bangkok Home for Children and Families.