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Entrance of State court (Photo - Terry Xu)

Netizens question the harsh punishment given to a Thai woman for maintaining a brothel for just 3 days

On Tuesday (30 April), a Thai woman named Chamnikrai Auraiporn was sentenced to four months’ jail and fined S$3,750 after she confessed to helping to manage a brothel, receiving a woman obtained as a prostitute and living on the earnings of prostitute.

However, it appears that Auraiporn was conned into receiving this job as she initially applied to an online advertisement for a housekeeping job in Singapore.

After successfully applying for the advertised housekeeping job, on 23 January, the woman got in touch with the contact person and paid an agent fee of 5,000 Thai Baht (S$213) for a work permit and travelling expenses. For the job, she was offered a salary of 30,000 Baht (S$1,278).

However, after a week of arriving in Singapore, Auraiporn found out that she would be working for an illegal prostitution syndicate.

When she met the boss of the syndicate, Mr Unicorn, on 2 February, he briefed her on her job roles which include keeping the brothel clean, washing laundry, cooking for the prostitutes and preparing lubricants and condoms for them.

Besides that, she was also asked to collect earnings from prostitutes and transport new girls to the brothel.

It was reported that the Thai woman began working on 6 February and ran away only three days later as she didn’t receive her work permit and wasn’t being paid.

After that, she survived by the earnings collected from two prostitutes until 12 February, when she was arrested.

Although the prosecution said that Auraiporn was not the mastermind of the syndicate, she still played a role in the business.

As such, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Goh requested for a jail term of four to five months and a fine of S$3,750, the same amount she had taken from the prostitutes’ earnings.

Though a translator, the Thai lady said that she was sorry for her actions and missed her three young children. She also revealed that she sent some of her money back to her children and spent the rest on personal expenses.

However, upon reading her sentences, many online users opined on Yahoo Singapore Facebook page that she was unfairly treated as she shouldn’t be given such a harsh punishment. They also questioned how the police could let the mastermind behind the syndicate, Mr Unicorn, to be left off the hook.

Others pointed that the law only punishes the poor and her employer, who is rich, was not prosecuted at all. If that is not all, they also pitied her situation as she was conned into accepting the job and now will have to serve jail term and fork out more money to pay her fine.

Some even ridiculed the law as someone who has committed a more serious crime like Nicholas Lim, who filmed a female student (Monica Baey) while showering in NUS was only given 12-month conditional warning, whereas this Thai woman was sentenced to jail and asked to pay a fine.