Gulf News Fahad Al Mukrashi, Correspondent
Muscat: Twenty-one Thai women who were forced into prostitution were rescued following a raid in Al Khuwair district of Muscat by Oman and Thai police on Thursday.
Three Thai nationals who were running the brothel were also arrested. Thai officials flew into Muscat to free the women in coordination with the Omani police.
The women were reportedly lured by a post in a Facebook group titled “Pattaya find job+job application”, promising them masseuse jobs in spas in the capital Muscat, according to Thai media.
The suspects convinced the victims that they would receive 100,000 baht (Dh10,615) per month (about 3000 USD) and offered them free air tickets to Muscat.
Speaking at a police press briefing at Don Mueang airport, Bangkok, on Sunday, Thai Immigration Police Bureau (IPB) commissioner Nathathorn Prousoontorn said the women, forced to work as prostitutes, were rescued during the crackdown on a sex trafficking ring in Muscat, reported Bangkokpost.
Three Thai women have been detained for their suspected involvement in the ring, while two male suspects are still at large.
The daily added that human trafficking charges have been pressed against the three women.
The raid came after Thai authorities were tipped off last month by three Thai women who earlier escaped from the sex trade ring in Muscat and returned to Thailand with help from the Thai embassy.
After arriving in Oman, the passports of all victims were seized and their communication cut off. They were forced into prostitution, working long hours in a flat in Al Khuwair district of the capital. The ages of the victims ranged between 20 and 30s.
Some of the freed victims have been infected with HIV.
An official at Royal Oman Police told Gulf News that an intensive manhunt is under way to catch the two suspects who are still at large. ROP raided dozens of brothels in the country and arrested more than 20 prostitutes and seven men who run those brothels last month.
Prostitution and sex outside marriage are illegal in Oman.