Posted on: April 29, 2022, 06:12h.
Last updated on: April 29, 2022, 12:02h.
Two Thai women held as sex slaves at an illegal casino in Myanmar escaped and swam across a river to gain their freedom. However, one of them told authorities that there were over 300 more who are still being held against their will.
The two found themselves unexpectedly trapped as sex slaves at a casino in Myawaddy, a large city on the Myanmar-Thailand border, but escaped by taking a perilous journey.
The Bangkok Post reports that the duo gained their freedom and swam across the Moei River– a water border between the two countries.
Military forces on both sides have the authority to shoot anyone illegally crossing the river. However, allegedly with Myanmar soldiers chasing after them, the two had no choice but to tempt fate in the water in their desperate attempt to flee.
Coerced Into Prostitution
After successfully making their way to Thailand in the dark, one of the two women went directly to the Royal Thai Police Office in Tak the next day. There, the 25-year-old laid out the ordeal she suffered and how she and the other girls ended up where they were.
The unidentified victim explained that a live online broadcast lured people like her to Myanmar. The casino duped them under the guise of offering jobs in public relations and entertainment. However, after she arrived at the casino, casino personnel forced her to work as a sex slave instead of giving her a legitimate job.
She was told she would have to pay 25,000 baht (US$730), to leave, which she didn’t have. As a result, she felt the only option was to become a prostitute.
Help From the Other Side
Joining the woman as she recounted her story to the police was Ekapop Lueangprasert. He runs an emergency response website called Sai Mai Tong Rod (Sai Mai District Must Survive). Ekapop already has experience dealing with similar allegations of sex slavery and kidnapping.
Earlier this month, the victim was able to contact Ekapop through the website. She explained where she was and what was going on. In addition, she also coordinated her escape, planning it for the moment guards at the casino were in a shift change.
In the text messages to Sai Mai Tong Rod, the victim asked that a representative meet her when she escaped. The group did, meeting the pair on the Thai side of the Moei River accompanied by Thai soldiers.
Police in Thailand will now begin to investigate the story. They already have a lot going on, investigating allegations of kidnapping and torture in Cambodia. However, law enforcement in Thailand and Myanmar, where prostitution is illegal, have conducted joint efforts in the past.