An Australian organisation comprising ex-police and special forces soldiers has rescued four child sex workers from an illegal brothel in Aranyaprathetnear the Thailand-Cambodia border.
The team of volunteer operatives from The Grey Man, a Brisbane-based charity, staged the successful operation at a brothel in the Thailand town of Aranyaprathet, 1km from the Cambodian border, on Saturday.
Organisation president John Curtis said the brothel trafficked girls from Vietnam and Cambodia to Thailand where they were being offered to customers for sex.
“The Grey Man team in an initial investigation obtained video and audio and then called in the Royal Thai Police force for assistance,” Mr Curtis said.
“The Thai unit was briefed on the location and a plan formulated.
“The Grey Man operatives then re-entered the brothel with police nearby ready to conduct a raid.”
Mr Curtis said 20 Thai police officers were involved in the raid with the Grey Man team – all of whom had a background in the police force or in Australian special forces.
He said four Cambodian girls aged between 14 and 15 were rescued from padlocked rooms with bars on the windows.
“Thai police made multiple arrests including the Mama San (brothel manager) and a number of Thai males assisting in the operation of the brothel,” Mr Curtis said.
The girls are currently being cared for by Thai government officials before spending a year at a Khmer centre for vocational training in Cambodia.
The Grey Man’s team leader for the operation, who asked not to be identified, labelled the operation as a good outcome.
“Working with the Thai police has shown us that the Thai government is serious about tackling the problem of human trafficking,” he said.
In January, Grey Man volunteers also rescued two Vietnamese girls, aged 10 and 14, from a brothel in Cambodia.