Court jails 5 for running sex ring

Slew of charges ends in multiple terms

Flashback: The Nataree massage parlour was raided last June 7. Police found a book of bribe payments, since 'lost' and under-age workers. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

The Criminal Court has imposed hefty fines and jail terms of between 8 and 11 years on five men found guilty of colluding to traffic women, including underaged girls, for sex services at the Nataree Entertainment massage parlour in Bangkok.

The punishments were based on commutations the judge handed down to the convicted men and the company overseeing the parlour Wednesday following their confessions. As a result, they saw their prison sentences halved and fines worth over 1.3 million baht reduced to less than 700,000 baht.

All the men committed "numerous counts of wrongdoing" in violation of seven different laws, ranging from those concerning human trafficking and sex services to labour and child protection, according to the court.

The case was brought to court by prosecutors after police raided Nataree Entertainment massage parlour in the Din Daeng area last year.

The police raid led to the arrest of massage parlour caretaker Phonganan Khanakhet, Somprasong Soichit, an executive of PSS Entertainment Ltd, Phanarin Hanphatthanacharoen, Atapha Laemae and Lapshulap Ngoenpiam.

Seven other suspects, including the massage parlour owner Prasoet Sukkhi, are still at large and wanted on arrest warrants.

Prosecutors said they colluded to acquire girls, aged under 18 years old, to provide sex services at the parlour between April 10 and June 7 last year. Among the victims were eight foreigners.

During the trial, the judges heard testimonies from seven witnesses, including four victims who included Myanmar, Cambodian and Taiwanese nationals.

The evidence as well as the convicts' confessions led the court to break the conspiracy down into nine different offences.

The five convicted men and PSS Entertainment Ltd violated the anti-human trafficking law, which imposes the heaviest punishment.

Each convict originally received a jail term of 14 years while the company was fined 1.3 million baht.

Other offences incurred less severe penalties, according to the court.

Tricking girls aged under 18 years for sexual abuse led to an additional sentence of three years for the five defendants and a 10,000-baht fine for the company.

The court also imposed six-year jail terms on Phonganan and Somprasong as they oversaw the sexual services involving the underaged girls.

The pair received another one-year term for providing shelter to illegal foreigners and a fine of 10,000 baht each for employing them in illicit work.

Both were also to be jailed for an additional six years for running a massage parlour without a licence.

The two also received fines of 20,000 baht each for hiring workers aged under 18 without informing labour officials.

In addition, the pair were also found guilty of making underaged girls work in the massage parlour and received another six months in jail.

Phonganan received an additional one-year jail term for possessing lewd photos of one of the underage victims.

Back to top