DSI follows the money in Victoria’s case to track down more suspects

national January 23, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

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CHUVIT ALLEGES THAT HUMAN-TRAFFICKING AGENTS ‘BOUGHT’ YOUNG GIRLS FROM THEIR FAMILIES FOR |SEXUAL EXPLOITATION



THE DEPARTMENT of Special Investigation (DSI) has promised to thoroughly investigate financial transactions involving Victoria’s: The Secret Forever to identify and apprehend all culprits involved in alleged illegal activities at the embattled massage parlour.

The entertainment venue is accused of engaging in human trafficking, prostitution, child prostitution and bribery. 

“We will investigate all the way to the end of the financial routes. We will pore over recordings from CCTV too,” DSI chief Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang said yesterday. 

He said Wang Thong Lang Police Station, whose jurisdiction covers Victoria’s, had already handed over an investigation report that was more than 3,000 pages long. Several senior policemen at the station were transferred after the DSI and military raided Victoria’s in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district and uncovered alleged illegal activities on January 12. 

Paisit yesterday said he had already submitted evidence of bribery found at Victoria’s to the Anti-Money Laundering Office and the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission for further action. 

He added that while Kampol and Nipa Weerathepsuporn – who are identified as the de-facto owners of Victoria’s – had not turned themselves in to face charges, the couple still remained in the country.

“There’s no record that they have left Thailand,” Paisit said. 

Kampol, 61, and his wife emerged as prime suspects in the case only after former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit volunteered information to police. 

Chuvit, who now works as a news host, previously owned Victoria’s and said he sold the venue to Kampol. 

On paper, Kampol’s sister Sasithorn Weerathepsuporn is the licence holder of Victoria’s and a major shareholder of Amarin Onsen, a private holding company that owns the place. Sasithorn is now in detention.

Chuvit gave photos to reporters yesterday featuring Amarin Onsen staff paying respect to Kampol, his wife and their son at New Year parties. 

“From these photos, it should be clear who the real owners are,” Chuvit said.

He added that he would be ready to provide information to the DSI if requested. 

The US Embassy in Bangkok has also invited him to provide information on the case, he said. 

Chuvit described Victoria’s as a criminal organisation as staff were trained to quickly destroy evidence of payments, such as removing credit-card numbers, in the event of a raid. 

He also said human-trafficking agents supplying young girls to Victoria’s had bought children from their parents. 

Some girls working as sex workers at the parlour came from neighbouring countries, according to the DSI. 

DSI deputy chief Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul said he would ask relevant embassies to help verify the actual ages of girls found on the premises. 

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