Thai officials, in coordination with representatives of Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), rescued six underage girls, including those under 15, in raids of a bar and a hotel on Patong Beach in Phuket on Wednesday night.
Two women working in the Velvet bar, located on the Bangla walking street on Patong Beach, were arrested by provincial administration officials. They were charged with human trafficking for allegedly procuring young girls for prostitution and operating a bar without a license.
The raids on the two night spots were the result of information provided by OUR, a non-profit international organisation dedicated to the fight against human trafficking, indicating that the Velvet bar was allegedly a front for prostitution catering to foreign tourists.
Based on the information, the Provincial Administration Department sent undercover agents to investigate. They confirmed the OUR’s information.
The six underage girls were found in the hotel next to the Velvet bar. All of them will be sent to a children’s shelter for rehabilitation before they are to be returned to their families.