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HOME // Phuket News // Three foreigners now in custody over the underage prostitution case in Bangla Road

Three foreigners now in custody over the underage prostitution case in Bangla Road

Velvet Bar Patong
Velvet Bar Patong

Last night, Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, Surachate Hakparn, arrived in Phuket to follow up on a case that had made headlines both in Thailand and overseas. Surachate announced to the media that six foreigners, who were allegedly customers of an illegal bar on Bangla Road in Soi San Sabai, Patong, had been either arrested or being sought for arrest.

The bar was named as the Velvet Bar.

The following foreigners have been named in the case – Paul Herbert Corbett, a 67 year old Australian national, Max Rigobert Ramasamy, a 68 year old French national, and Mutu Pan, a 44 year old Chinese national – all of whom have been arrested and are assisting police with their enquiries.

Three other men, Jeffrey Lynn Amman, a 50 year old American national, Jesse James Demian, a 49 year old American national, and Ahmed Saleh Balobead, a 40 year old Saudi Arabian national, had escaped before charges could be filed against them.

Surachete stated that coordinated efforts with Interpol and other countries were underway to capture the three wanted suspects. The illegal bar off Bangla Road in Soi San Sabai, Patong was raided, and six underage prostitutes were rescued. Two suspects were arrested, but they claimed that the real bar owner was a foreigner.

Police were initially tipped off by NGO Operation Underground Railroad.

Five Patong senior police officers were transferred after the illegal bar on Bangla Road in Patong was raided, and six minors under the age of eighteen were rescued from child sexual exploitation. A foreign owner was reported to have fled to a nearby country after the bar was raided.

The Phuket Provincial Police Commander, signed an order on March 16 removing five senior police officers from Patong Provincial Police Station for “their recklessness after allowing the bar in Patong to provide underage girls as prostitutes to foreign customers”.

Initially, arrest warrants were issued for a Swiss man and two Thai women who were allegedly connected to the bar raid in Patong. Some media reported that the Swiss man was being tracked and his known associates in Phuket placed under surveillance.

Further investigations uncovered the web of owners and people involved with the human trafficking at the venue leading to the current list of arrests and people being sought under warrant. The six underage girls, one who is only 15 years old, were sent to the National Referral Mechanism for care at this time.

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