CityNews – A policeman accused of running an underage prostitution ring in Mae Hong Son is under investigation by the DSI and Public Prosecutor after a mother of one of the victims was systematically ignored by the relevant police departments and Damrongdhama Centre for over six months.
43-year-old Nampetch Keuyputsa from Mae Hong Son has reached out to the local media in an attempt to bring more light onto a case that has been systematically ignored and stalled by suspicious bureaucracy after she discovered that a police man in Mae Hong Son was allegedly forcing her underage daughter along with 20 other underage girls into prostitution.
The police man in question (who’s name has so far been withheld by the police) was a Sargent Major at Mae Hong Son.
The girl’s mother used to work as a private investigator for the police, giving information about drug and prostitution gangs and activity in the area. She immediately contacted the Provincial Damrongdhama Centre in Mae Hong Son after she discovered evidence of contact details and photographs of her daughter, advertising underage prostitution along with 20 other underage girls in November 2016.
The Damrongdhama Centre contacted Chief of Police Mae Hong Son, Pulsarb Prasert, and demanded they open a case. However, the case was stalled and finally closed after a ‘lack of evidence’.
Following that, Nampetch contacted the Human Trafficking Prevention Centre to see if they can help.
After she contacted the Human Trafficking Prevention Centre and shared the news with local media, the Mae Hong Son police re-opened an investigation on March 1st 2017 into the the claims and will be conducing interviews with the victims and witnesses to the alleged underage prostitution ring.
On April 23, Commander in Chief Pulsarb Prasert made a statement to the local media regarding the case. He claimed that after the story had been leaked to the press, many news agencies shared the news, resulting in a confusion of information and accusations that police had closed the case again, but he promised that the case had not been closed and they were impartially investigating the claims.
The Public Prosecutor has recently ordered fresh investigations into the case, and is demanding all identifiable victims, defendants and families of those affected must be interviewed and have their stories cross examined. However, the victims and their families have all failed to cooperate with authorities, and some are now uncontactable after they were sent to Witness Protection in Bangkok following other unrelated criminal cases.
The police conducting the investigation have sent their reports to the Public Prosecutor and police are waiting for their review of the investigation conducted before any further action is taken. The Department of Special Investigations (Northern Thailand Department) has also asked to review the reports and will be involved in the case moving forward.