THE MANAGER and managing director of Nataree Entertainment were jailed for more than a decade each yesterday for human trafficking, soliciting underage girls for prostitution and concealing illegal immigrants.
The Criminal Court initially slapped longer prison terms on Ponganan Khanakhet, the manager, and Somprasong Sroyjit, the managing director of PSS Entertainment, which runs the parlour.
But the court cut their sentences after they pleaded guilty. Ponganan was jailed for 13 years while Somprasong was jailed for 12 years and six months. Both also face a fine of Bt15,000.
Their three accomplices, Panarin Harnpattanacharoen, Atapha Laemae and Larpchularp Ngerntempiam, were each jailed for eight years and six month, although their sentences were also cut in half because they pleaded guilty. The court also ordered PSS Entertainment to pay a fine of Bt655,000 after the initial fine was cut in half. The five were arrested on June 7 last year after police and Interior Ministry officials raided the parlour and found that there were eight illegal immigrant girls under 18 years old working as prostitutes at the venue.
The five individuals and the company were charged with collaborating in soliciting illegal immigrants under 18 into prostitution from April 10 to June 7 last year. They were charged with violating the anti-trafficking law, the anti-prostitution law, the entertainment venue law, the alien profession law, the labour protection law and the child protection law.
Ponganan, Somprasong, Panarin and Atapha were sentenced in absentia as they were still remanded at the Bangkok Remand Prison. Larpchularp, who had been released on bail, came to the Criminal Court to hear the ruling.
The owner of the business, Prasert Sukkhee, is still on the run and the court has issued a warrant for his arrest.