Ten men arrested for buying teenage sex

Crime Suppression Division police arrest a suspect in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya district, Ayutthaya province, Wednesday morning. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

AYUTTHAYA: Police on Wednesday raided 14 places in the central plain province and arrested 10 of 14 men wanted for paying for sex with a 15-year-old girl recently rescued from forced prostitution.

Pol Col Arun Wachirasrisukanya, a superintendent of the Crime Suppression Division, said about 30 detectives raided the 14 locations to arrest 14 suspects wanted for participating in the forced teenage sex trade.

The ten arrested men were identified as taxi motorcyclist Anothai Weerasai, 50, Wut Jitsopa, a 55-year-old local municipal civil engineer, key maker Jamnian sae Li, 53, Tanakrit Winaikrit, 41, Weerapong Wongpimol, 36, amulet vendor Kacha Pongjamras, 28, Tanawat Bantaotuk, 39, scrap trader Weerapan Siripatanapong, 61, Paibul Waripintu, 55, and Jermpong Pipatsajja, 38.

They were arrested in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya, Sena, Tha Rua, Bang Pa-in and Bang Pa Han districts.

Pol Col Arun said they were charged with separating a minor from her parents for molestation. Mr Tanawat was also charged with rape because the girl told police that she was forced to lose her virginity to him. Most suspects confessed to paying 500-800 baht for sex.

According to Pol Col Arun, police last month rescued the girl from her step-aunt, who allegedly forced her into prostitution early this year. Paweena Thongchuea, the 20-year-old step-aunt, and her customer Wichai Pensawat, 61-year-old retired teacher, were arrested at that time.

One of the four other suspects at large was a local police lieutenant aged 58, Pol Col Arun said.

A number of the suspects’ wives showed up at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok to see their husbands being interrogated and cried when their husbands declined to meet them.

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