A 39-year-old South Korean man has been arrested for his alleged role in a human trafficking gang that lured Thai women to South Korea with a promise of high-paid body massage jobs and then forced into prostitution.
Kim Hyoung Joon was apprehended at a condominium in Soi Sukhumvit 101/1 in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district on Wednesday, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) deputy chief Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul told a press conference on Friday.
Joon was expected to make a first appearance at a Bangkok court to apply for the first 12-day detention period order on Friday afternoon.
Joon was also wanted by South Korean authorities for multiple crimes and was on Interpol’s blacklist for human trafficking.
The man had reportedly laid low in Thailand for three years and has a Thai wife.
According to Songsak, Kim’s gang had lured many Thai women into prostitution in Korea.
The women’s relatives called the South Korean Embassy in Thailand asking for help, resulting in the probe by state agencies of both countries.
Eight suspects were arrested in South Korea for human trafficking charges on February 23 and a Thai court then issued arrest warrants for Kim and his elusive Thai wife.
DSI's Anti-Human Trafficking Centre director Pol Lt-Colonel Komwit Pattanarat warned people not to believe a pitch promising high-paid massage jobs, which is being increasingly used to lure Thai women into prostitution.
Massage jobs in South Korea are reportedly reserved by law for disabled persons, said Komwit. He warned women to be invitations for high-paid jobs made via Line or Facebook chat. Many Thai women have become victims of sex-trade gangs, Komwit said.