Model agency boss faces arrest for allegedly pimping minors after viral face-slapping video posted online

national September 20, 2017 01:00


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NINEW MODELING boss and former magician Kerdmai Ruayjingna and others will soon face arrest for alleged human-trafficking offences, Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) chief Pol Maj-General Kornchai Klayklueng said yesterday.

Kornchai said police were gathering evidence to apply for court-issued summonses or arrest warrants for Kerdmai and others on charges of human trafficking and profiting from sex work performed by people under 18.

Police will also investigate the allegation that the Bangkok-based modelling agency had employees under 17 use other people’s ID cards to perform as dancers at night entertainment venues that by law bar entry to minors. He said police would also check if the venues had knowledge of the alleged faked identities.

The 44-year-old Kerdmai, previously known as Kheetakan Kerdpaiboon, and his former “coyote dancer” employee and NiNew Modeling manager, Panwarot Kuabkoom, 34, were at the centre of a scandal after video clips of two female dancers being slapped in the face went viral.

Panwarot and other employees reportedly queued up to slap the young women as punishment for unclear breaches of the modelling house’s rule. The clips led to online criticism and an initial police inquiry into what went on. 

It became a formal police case when four alleged victims, all aged 17, lodged police complaints with the AHTD on Monday, accusing Kerdmai of forcing them to provide sex services to venue customers. Kerdmai denied the accusations in a television interview aired on Monday night. 

The young women also claimed that Kerdmai had demanded to see them naked during job interviews and that he coerced some of the dancers to have sex with him.

Kerdmai told the television interviewer that he had to check dancers’ bodies for tattoos and blemishes to meet the requirements of the venue’s customers.

The married man with five children also admitted on air that he had had consensual sexual relationships with two employees, but had broken up with them. 

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