Thai authorities, in a joint task-force operation, arrested an American-Thai couple in Hua Hin linked to what they claimed was Thailand’s biggest online prostitution platform, the Absolute Angels escort agency.
In an Aug. 13 raid, assets valued at 40 million baht were seized, including a pool villa and 9 million baht in bank deposits.
The suspects, a 34-year-old Thai woman, identified only as Kanya, and her 48-year-old American husband, Brendan, were taken into custody on a warrant issued in Pattaya on Aug. 10. Kanya initially was arrested at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, while Brendan was taken into custody at their luxury home in Hua Hin.
Absolute Angels’ website, reportedly operating for over a decade, ranked first on Google in Thailand for prostitution services and recorded nearly 430,000 monthly visits, authorities said.
Preliminary investigations suggest that Absolute Angels listed at least 80 escorts, including individuals and groups, available for hire.
As of this writing, the Absolute Angels website was still online.
Absolute Angels Raid Part of Transnational Crime Crackdown
The operation, led by Deputy Immigration Bureau Chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Panthana Nuchanart, was initiated under the directive of caretaker Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to address online activities by foreigners that tarnish the country’s reputation.
The raid followed issuance of a search warrant from the Hua Hin Provincial Court dated on Aug. 11. The seized assets encompass a Mercedes-Benz C200 coupé valued at฿3.5 million baht, a Honda CRV worth 1.8 million baht, and shares listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, currently under examination.
The couple faces charges of prostitution offenses, including facilitating and protecting prostitution operations. The charges reflect Thai laws against “procuring, luring or taking away for indecent purposes” regardless of the individual’s consent, police said.
Police officials expressed concerns over potential international money laundering activities tied to the website. Preliminary information suggests the website initially operated outside Thailand before relocating for unknown reasons.
The ongoing investigation, emphasizing transnational crime and human trafficking, indicates foreign assistance in the website’s operations both within and outside of Thailand. Authorities are currently liaising with international law enforcement to ascertain the extent of the offshore activities.
Officials noted that suppressing businesses by foreigners that negatively impact Thailand’s image is a top priority. Activities associated with prostitution, including advertising, will face stringent police action as they pose a reputational threat and public nuisance.
The arrest of Kanya was executed with the aid of tracking her iPhone, which led officers directly to her location at Suvarnabhumi.