The 50-year-old mamasan of a beer bar in Central Pattaya was arrested on Friday on charges of alleged human trafficking and “providing sexual services” of a 16-year-old girl working in the bar.
The sting operation that led to the arrest came on the heels of “information” given to police that the One More, Beer Bar in the R-Con bar complex off Soi Buakhao was “conducting prostitution in the back rooms.” (Though prostitution is not strictly illegal in Thailand, solicitation and providing premises such as short-time rooms is.)
So the police did what they had to do when bending the rules is no longer an option, i.e. send an informant (his nationality has not been revealed so he could have been a Thai as well as a Farang) to check up on the bar and the alleged “back rooms.”
The inevitable happened – the mamasan introduced the informant to a young lady called “Noo “and asked for a “bar fine” of 2,000 Baht, which the informant readily paid using previously photographed banknotes. (Note: It is here where the crime was committed.)
But instead of taking Noo to the “back rooms” (which actually do not exist at the open-front bar) the informant took the girl to the Little Court Hotel a few hundred metres up Soi Buakhao where police were already “waiting” (so they had known there were no mysterious “back rooms,” hadn’t they?)
Only there it also emerged that Noo was only 16 years old, well below the age of consent, and should obviously not be in the flesh trade.
According to Pattaya One, a police team swiftly raided the beer bar and arrested the 50-year-old mamasan who also claimed to be the owner (?) on charges of “human trafficking” and providing sexual services of an underage girl. Fair enough – as it coincidentally turned out.
What we don’t quite get: When the sting operation was initiated the police did apparently not know (?) that an underage girl was working at the bar (which was rather a coincidence it seems), but the investigation focused on allegations that the bar had been “conducting prostitution in the back rooms,” which it obviously didn’t do. The crime was however committed when the money was handed over.
So we wonder what would have happened if Noo had been 18 years or older? We mean it’s pretty much business as usual in Pattaya that a customer “bar fines” a girl to engage in whatever nocturnal activities with her.
Would the mamasan still have been charged with “human trafficking”? (Then wouldn’t the entire Thai bar girl industry be based on “human trafficking” – regardless of the fact that the girls work by choice, not by force?)
Would her mistake have been to collect the 2,000 Baht in total, which obviously wasn’t just the “bar fine” (that’s 500 Baht at most) but included the money the girl was going to get for her performance?
What’s the lesson to learn for bar managers and mamasans? Are we missing something?