CHIANG MAI: -- Chiang Mai is currently suffering a surfeit of paedolphiles and others of a similar disposition, according to the city authorities, so much so that police have announced their avowed intent to stamp out the menace. A Department of Special Investigation (DSI) source recently revealed the existence of a child-sex ring organized by a wayward monk and a layman; the two subsequently having been prosecuted along with one of their British clients.
The two, Phra Vissanu Tejdhammo of Wat Pa Lan and Surasak Keawman, 51, have been arrested, charged with sexually exploiting children. The monk apparently was wont to venture out into the territory of the hill tribe villages in Chiang Mai and neighbouring provinces, without his robes. Finding suitable victims, largely young boys, the monk would entice them, perhaps using the ploys described below, and then, having beguiled the poor innocents take them back to Chiang Mai where Keawman would sexually seduce them; softening them up, so to speak, before farming them out to foreign paedophiles, who had come to Thailand for that specific purpose.
The layman, Keawman, was nabbed first, as six boys were found in his house, and evidence found on Tejdhammo’s phone showed Keawman having sex with the boys, as other evidence as well like lists of male and female teenagers, a baseball bat, an electric prod and condoms. Keawman then informed on his colleague, Tejdhammo, who was subsequently arrested. The two offenders were charged by the DSI with six counts each of child molestation and six counts of depriving a child of parental care. One of their foreign clients, an unnamed 67-year-old British national, was also arrested, charged with the same offences.
SE Asia is a favourite happy hunting ground for sex tourists, in general, and paedophiles in particular. The ideal conditions of abject poverty, statelessness (as in the case of refugees and hill tribe people), lax or ill-defined laws, corrupt police, bribery and corruption among the authorities, abandoned children, low education and a lack of specific training in law-enforcement all make for exceptional opportunities for such individuals, leaving young victims irreparably damaged and the perpetrators rarely reported or prosecuted, or frequently if they are, miraculously reappearing on the streets after supposedly having been imprisoned, as has been the case in several instances in Pattaya.
Indeed, extreme vulnerability is a decided turn on for these individuals, apparently. In one well recorded incident, 20 convicted Australian paedophiles attempted to travel to Indonesia and Thailand immediately after the Boxing Day tsunami, evidently to prey on vulnerable, displaced children. Quick thinking by the Australian authorities prevented their entry into either of these countries because their names were red-flagged, being child sex-offenders, and notice of their presumed intent transmitted to the Thai and Indonesian authorities who barred their entry.
Paedophiles are not normally so easily identifiable, however. They can be of any nationality and any age, particularly since the introduction of Viagra, as the recent conviction of a 78-year old male paedophile from Pattaya showed, as he was caught in flagrante delicto with large supply of the medication.
Although all socio-economic groups contain paedophiles, as do all occupations, certain ones are favourites, such as school and foundation volunteers, teachers, clerics, policemen and missionaries, again another prime example being from Pattaya. These positions put them in the ideal situation because they firstly, gain the trust of their victims and secondly, rely on their personas as authority figures, making resistance difficult, particularly in societies where respect for authority is highly regarded.
They may be single or married, couples having been known to indulge in the same victim. However, they rarely have an extensive peer group, other than those of the same ilk, frequently sharing victims. An overriding characteristic, which seems to hold true in many cases, however, is that they are inordinate collectors, who never throw anything away.
They will frequent the obvious procurement areas, such as Sunni Plaza in Pattaya, or the poorer areas where street children congregate. The bait that they use for enticement includes offering money, (to either the child or its parents), buying presents and providing shelter and food, appeals for assistance, and enticements such as, ‘come inside, I have something special to show you’.
The penalty for sex crimes of this nature range from rehabilitation, various terms of imprisonment to chemical castration and in extreme cases, the death penalty as is current in certain US states, e.g. South Carolina, where the death penalty is mandatory for the second offense of raping a child under age 11, or in Oklahoma, with a death penalty provision for raping a child under age 14.
Reporter: Krispin St. Pierre (National News Reporter)http://www.pattayadailynews.com/en/2010 ... hiang-mai/