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3 guilty of trafficking

Mere Naleba
Friday, December 14, 2012

HIGH Court judge Justice Paul Madigan yesterday overruled a not-guilty verdict passed down on first accused, Phanat Laojindamanee, in the human trafficking case.

All three assessors had found Laojinadamanee not guilty on one count of aggravated trafficking in person but guilty on a lesser count of trafficking in person. However, in his judgement Justice Madigan found Laojindamanee guilty on both counts.

All four accused, Laojindamanee, Lum Bing, Zhang Yong and Jason Zong are now found guilty of the charges against them.

Laojindamanee and Bing were charged with one count of aggravated trafficking in person and an alternative count of trafficking in person, Yong was charged with two counts of domestic trafficking in person while Zong was charged with two counts of sexual servitude.

The four accused are said to have been involved in the trafficking of three Thai women to the country and forcing the women into offering sexual services in exchange for money.

The court heard during Justice Madigan's summing up that one of the women had testified in court, saying two of the women had only found out that they were expected to offer sexual services after the leader returned one night and told them sex was also involved.

While the women were staying in the third accused's house, one of them had to perform sexual services for a man brought in by the fourth accused. The court heard during the victim's testimony that several men were brought to their hotel rooms while they were booked at Peninsula International Hotel.

"The opinions of the assessors on count one and count two against the first and second accused are mixed," Justice Madigan said.

"The court in directing itself on the summing up will agree with the majority of the verdicts of the assessors and therefore finds the first and second accused guilty of the lesser count of trafficking in persons on both counts one and two."





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