The raid came under the order of Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong in accordance with the nationwide efforts to stop human trafficking. The joint team of police officers, soldiers and Phuket Territorial Defense volunteers inspected over a dozen of massage parlors in and near Poonpol Night Plaza, conducting drug tests and checking whether employees have correct papers for work.
“We checked the 16 establishments in the area of Poonpol Night Plaza, most of which are traditional massage parlors. We checked employees’ work licenses to make sure the papers are valid and the employees themselves are of legal age. Also, drug searches and urine drug tests were carried out,” said deputy chief of Phuket Provincial Police Capt Bhavorn Promkeawgnam.
“This is in accordance with policies related to the suppression of trafficking by the government,” he added.
During the raid officials found five illegal employees – one Cambodian, one Lao and three Hill group girls – in three different venues. No drugs were found and all urine tests returned negative. Also no evidence of prostitution was discovered.
“However, there were records of more than 20 illegal payments totaling B69,000 made to state agencies at one of the 16 facilities,” Capt Bhavorn added, without providing further details.