Thai human trafficker sentenced in Switzerland for exploiting compatriots

The offences date back to the period between 2009 and 2014. Keystone / Dita Alangkara

A 60-year-old Thai woman, who was trafficking sex workers to Swiss brothels will have to serve ten and a half years in prison.

This content was published on March 6, 2020 - 18:34
SDA-Keystone/ac

The Bernese cantonal court confirmed the sentence on Friday. The accused was found guilty of human trafficking, promoting prostitution and other crimes. The cantonal court also imposed a daily penalty of CHF30 ($32) for 260 days or CHF7,800.  The decision can still be challenged before the Federal Court.

The woman brought dozens of compatriots from poorer parts of Thailand to Switzerland, charging them exorbitant fees for travel and accommodation. The indictment at the first trial in 2018 reported 88 exploited women and transsexuals. At the time, the lower court had convicted the woman of human trafficking in 75 cases, prostitution in 29 cases, incitement to illegal entry and residence in 86 cases, and money laundering of at least CHF120,000. In some cases, however, the Thai woman was acquitted because the evidence was deemed insufficient.

The offences date back to the period between 2009 and 2014. The woman is resident in Thailand but travels often to Switzerland for her illegal activities. Her victims were from economical weaker sections of society and had little formal education. Once brought into Switzerland they were then forced to prostitute themselves in brothels located in seven Swiss cantons - Bern, Solothurn, Lucerne, Basel-City, Thurgau, St. Gallen and Zurich - to pay their travel debts, which were billed at CHF30,000 and to which were added board, lodging and advertising costs.


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