BANGKOK: A 26-year-old woman from Khon Kaen in northern Thailand has reportedly committed suicide due to the prospect of being detained for another three months for questioning after she was rescued from a prostitution ring in Malaysia.
Her mother has since expressed disbelief that her daughter would commit suicide when she was so close to returning home.
The distraught mother collected her daughter's body from the Institute of Forensic Medicine on Friday. The 45-year-old mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the victim's identity, spoke to officials from the Thai Social Development and Human Security Ministry who visited her at home in Muang Khon Kaen on Thursday to see if the family qualified for any aid.
The mother said her daughter had found a job via a Facebook user going by the name of Daranibong Nurainee, who promised she would get a waitress job in South Korea paying 70,000 Baht (RM8,735) monthly and offered to pay all her travel expenses.
Despite relatives warning her against taking up the offer as it could be a trick, her daughter insisted on going as she wanted to help pay for repairs to the family home and to support the family, said the mother.
She boarded the plane on April 26 and ended up on an island in Malaysia, where she was told she would work as a waitress at a Thai restaurant.
She later contacted her mother to tell her that she had been forced into prostitution.
The girl was allegedly held against her will and refused food unless she complied. She told her mother she had even been forced to drink water from the toilet to survive.
She also told her family that they would have to repay the agent who brought her to Malaysia to obtain her freedom.
Relatives then contacted the Facebook crime news community "E-jan", which led to a raid on May 10 by Malaysian police to rescue her daughter and two other Thai victims.
The daughter sent a Facebook message to a relative that she had been taken to an emergency home and should soon be back in Khon Kaen.
Last Friday, the mother was shocked to hear about her daughter's suicide and said she thought she might be the victim of foul play.
Khon Kaen governor Somsak Jangtrakul said the Department of Consular Affairs had said the woman's suicide was related to stress after learning she would be detained for another three months for an investigation.
He urged people wishing to work aboard to contact only legally-registered job agencies or the Department of Employment, in order to avoid becoming a victim of criminals. – The Nation/Asia News Network