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Teenager's sex slavery claim doubted

Piangjai during her interrogation.

Piangjai during her interrogation.

Girl admitted she wanted to return to be with her boyfriend: father

New questions have emerged about a Thai teenager's claim that her aunt forced her into prostitution in South Korea.

The aunt, Piangjai Kim, flew back to Thailand late on Thursday for police interrogation, in which she firmly denied the allegation. Her older brother, the girl's father, also said that his daughter had concocted the story in a bid to make her way back to Thailand.

"We will ensure justice for both sides," Maj-General Chawalit Sawaengpeuch, commander of the Anti-Human-Trafficking Division, said yesterday.

Piangjai said she had been working as a masseuse at a Thai massage parlour in Seoul for about nine years and the shop did not offer any sexual services. She added that her sister-in-law, the girl's mother, had also done a short stint at the parlour.

"The mother saw us off when we were about to fly to Seoul," Piangjai recounted, adding that her niece had voluntarily chosen to live and work with her in the South Korean capital.

Piangjai went on to say that there had been no conflicts or even quarrels before the allegations cropped up.

"I don't understand why she would make up such a story. Perhaps she found her job as a masseuse far too tiring. She has never done hard work before," Piangjai said.

The aunt suspected that perhaps her niece was afraid of being reprimanded by her parents if she told them that she did not want to work in Seoul any more.

"She had been there for a few days. If she had told me that she wanted return, I would have sent her back," the aunt said, adding that she did not hold any grudges against the teenager because she is still young.

"She doesn't understand that her allegations would have such a serious impact," Piangjai said.

She is facing five charges related to human trafficking and prostitution.

Chawalit said the police had no objection to Piangjai's bail request. She has provided Bt400,000 in cash to secure her temporary release pending legal process.

Meanwhile, Piangjai's older brother, 39, said he wanted to apologise to everybody who has been affected by his daughter's false claim.

"She told me that she was missing her boyfriend and really wanted to return," he said.

He runs a petrol station and car-care centre in Roi Et.

"I am sad that my daughter chose to lie. She told me that she did not dare tell her aunt that she wanted to return because she had only just arrived in Seoul," he said. "Many of our relatives have gone to work in South Korea before and nobody has had any problems."

He added that he would wait until his daughter was a bit more mature before encouraging her to work in the future.

"I think I will have her to go back to her studies instead," he said.




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