Two Human Trafficking Operations Busted in a Single Apartment in Mandalay

By Zarni Mann 22 October 2019

MANDALAY – Eight women subjected to forced prostitution and human trafficking were rescued in Mandalay on Sunday, according to police.

Local residents of Mya Yee Nandar Apartments in Chanmyathazi Township informed the police that they had seen letters from three girls asking to be rescued from a locked apartment where the girls had been forced into prostitution for about three months.

According to the police, three girls, ages 18, 22 and 23, came from Htee Chaint Township in Sagaing Region and Ywarthargyi and Thaketa townships in Yangon Region to work as “models” at a restaurant in Mandalay.

“Their friend on the Internet persuaded them to work as models in Mandalay, where they would earn lots of money,” explained police Major U Myo Zin of the anti-human trafficking task force in Mandalay. “They did work as models at a restaurant but after a few days, they were locked inside the apartment and forced to worked as prostitutes.” 

The girls then threw letters from the windows of the locked apartment asking to be rescued, saying that they were being held against their will and that all their communications with the outside world were cut off.

“Thanks to the local residents who found the letters and informed us, we were able to rescue them,” Maj. U Myo Zin added. 

In a separate incident, on the same day at the same Mya Yee Nandar Apartments, five other women were rescued before their captors could sell them and traffic them to China to be brides.

“On the same morning, police in Aung Pin Lae [of Chanmyathazi Township] raided the apartment following a report of human trafficking and found five women who were about to be sold as brides to China,” said Maj. U Myo Zin.

The five women, aged 18 to 55, had just arrived in Mandalay on Sunday morning from Taunggyi in Shan State, Htee Chaint Township in Sagaing Division and Yangon.

“Those women had just arrived in Mandalay to take a rest before continuing to the Chinese border soon. We’ve arrested two men who are involved in this case. We are investigating both cases and are planning to arrest all those who are involved in the cases,” said Maj. U Myo Zin. 

Police are investigating Ko Thiha Moe Aung and Ko Myo Thant for allegedly trying to sell the five women as brides in China, and investigating U San Tun for allegedly forcing the three girls to work as prostitutes. Police are planning to open lawsuits against all three under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law.

Charges of human trafficking and forced prostitution carry a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

The victims are reportedly under the supervision of police and social workers at a safe place where they are receiving counseling.

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