The British manager of a Pattaya Soi 6 bar and his mamasan were charged with human trafficking after police swept the seedy street this week looking for underage girls.
Pattaya Brit William Reece and Thai Jaranya Deeppair, 31, taken away in handcuffs April 5 from the Flirt bar, one of the many brothels owned by the Nightwish Group. Bargirls employed at Flirt also were taken to Pattaya Police Station and the arrests prompted an even larger sweep of Soi 6 the following night.
Arrest warrants for the Pattaya Brit and mamasan had been issued April 4, alleging the two were guilty of trafficking women from Issan to Pattaya to work in the Soi 6 bars where they are paid at little as 1,000 baht for sex in illegal upstairs rooms.
Pattaya police chief Pol. Col. Thanapong Phothi claimed this week’s crackdown on Soi 6 was to “build confidence in Pattaya’s image among tourists” but, in most quarters, had the opposite effect. Days earlier, Pattaya had shut down bars on Walking Street and detained tourists, checking their passports and visas and looking for overstayers.
It seems Pattaya’s plod has forgotten just how dire things were in Sin City during the coronavirus pandemic when authorities did anything to make foreigners feel welcome.
Nightwish Group founded in 2012, released a statement defending its operation of 27 beer bars and gentlemen’s clubs in Pattaya, pointing out police found no underage girls or anything else illegal in Flirt.
“We maintain high standards,” said the operator of Pattaya’s lowest-rung-on-the-ladder bars.
Pattaya Brit ‘Framed’
Nightwish also claimed that the Pattaya Brit and Jaranya were framed.
‘We believe that the raid took place following the inaccurate testimony of just one individual, who had been paid to make a false statement, and we do not expect anything to come of the charges.
‘Nightwish takes our responsibilities seriously, and cares deeply about the welfare of all our staff. We would never be involved in harmful practices,” Nightwish concluded.