Sydney Raid Finds Sex Slaves
FOUR Thai women were forced into prostitution and held against their will in a secret room underneath a Sydney brothel, a court has heard.
The women, all Thai nationals aged between 27 and 44, were found cowering in the bare room by Australian Federal Police and NSW Police during a raid with Department of Immigration officers on a Canley Heights premises yesterday.
Brief details of the forced incarceration were revealed when Trevor McIvor, 58, and a Thai woman, Kanokporn Tanuchit, 40, faced Central Local Court charged with 32 counts of allegedly holding the women against their will to work as sex slaves.
In a statement of facts tendered to magistrate Julie Huber, police alleged the pair, both of Canley Heights, held the women, whose names were withheld, to "contracts" that forced them into prostitution in a brothel above the hidden room between May 19 and June 2.
The couple each faced 16 separate charges of the 32 offences laid: 26 of which related to the sexual servitude provisions in the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act.
They were also charged with three counts each of detaining for advantage in company under the NSW Crimes Act.
The federal police's Mike Phelan said it was the first time federal officers had used a recent amendment to Commonwealth legislation under the sexual servitude provisions to charge someone with causing an individual to enter into debt bondage.
"This case highlights the effectiveness of this legislation in order for the AFP to be able to prevent women being brought to Australia, held against their will and used as sex slaves," said Mr Phelan, national manager of the border and international network.
McIvor and Tanuchit were granted bail in the sum of $50,000 surety, with orders to surrender their passports and not approach the women, who were in the care of the Department of Immigration.
Both were ordered to reappear before Downing Centre Local Court on August 8.Les Kennedy
June 9, 2006AdvertisementAdvertisement