(The following is a rough/brief translation of the leading article in the Thai Raj newspaper, 31 Jan)
(Example edited pic on www.hi5.com)
No pimps, no mamasangs – Thai university students, office women and highschool girls sell their bodies directly on the Internet on two of Thailand’s most popular websites www.mthai.com and especially the social networking website www.hi5.com.
What the young ladies do is simply post a profile of themselves, picture and of course the costs. Most common of all are university students (or claiming to be) who post a photo of themselves in their uniform. An official we spoke to from the Ministry of Culture explained that the university pin/badge on the ladies’ uniforms is often very distinguishable. The targeted market is randy men, young and old.
Not just young women, men also sell their bodies directly on Hi5 and MThai, usually they post a comment which reads ‘massage & excitement – for just 1,000 Baht!’ Their targeted market is both gay men and lonely women.
Selling sex on the Internet like this is a brand-new method – same as direct sales; no pimps and no mamasangs – and so, the young ladies get to keep all the money themselves.
Most of the offending part-time prostitutes woo their potential customers by posing not just in tight and skimpy university outfits, but also highschool uniforms, cute college wear and even sexy office attire.
Another strategy the girls use is sending emails and private messages via Internet forums and web-boards; the girls then hope that the recipients will next ‘forward mail’.
One of our reporters recently decided to check for himself whether this new kind of prostitution really did exist. The first email he opened included all the girl’s vital statistics, prices, services available and the mandatory photo. Her name was Nong Fah, 21 years of age, 32-24-35, 167cm, 50km and charged 1,500 a fling (exclusive of love motel room). She was an office worker. Interested clients had to transfer half the fee to her bank account first and the next half on the day of servicing.
The next 2 emails he got were pics of university uniform clad students called Nong Bow and Nong Nam. Nong Bow charged 1,500 baht short-time or 3,000 all night, while Nong Nam charged 2,000 per bout. Both girls offered virtually all the sexual services under the sun but the wearing of a condom was compulsory.
When we spoke to Pol Lt Col. Sawat Phakdee about the matter, he stated that this was totally illegal and against the prostitution criminal code of 1996. Offenders could be fined a maximum of 500 baht and charged with running an illegal business. He asked that educational institutes, families and the cops work together to clampdown on direct sales sex. In fact, the police and the ICT have already started blocking the illegal pages and apprehending some of the girls.
Miss Ladda Tangsuphachai from the Ministry of Culture told us that they had already found more than 1,000 girls selling sex on the Internet, mainly so-called students. She said the average prices were between 1,500-3,000 depending on length of time and servicing (international program students were more expensive).
Miss Ladda went on to say that the money earned was spent on school fees, room rents, mobile phones and cars.