Police forces in Thailand and Sweden teamed up in a major sting operation aimed at bringing down suspects involved in sex crimes against children in Thailand. Among the people taken into custody were two “late middle-aged” Swedish men who were caught in the popular ‘sex-destination’ Thai beach town of Pattaya.
The two Swedes had been living in Pattaya for some time. Speaking to the TT news agency, Anders Ahlqvist of the Swedish police’s IT-crimes section confirmed, “They weren’t just there on a tourist trip, but have been frequent visitors to Thailand”.
The Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper reports the men are accused of engaging in sexual acts with children younger than 15 years-old. They have been flown to Bangkok for interrogation by both Thai and Swedish police. If their case goes to trial, it will take place in Thailand.
The raid was part of a larger effort underway by the Swedish National Investigation Department focused on stopping Swedes around the world from engaging in sexual crimes in foreign countries. The work falls under Sweden’s overall efforts to combat human trafficking.
“It has a great deal to do with co-operation with local police authorities in target countries. We’re assisting them so that they can engage in effective crime fighting,” said Ahlqvist. Swedish police provided their Thai counterparts with intelligence about the two Swedes, which Thai authorities then followed up on.
“The Thai police have been much more on the offensive and are now arresting people who commit these types of crimes, which they may not have been known for doing earlier,” Ahlqvist said. Southeast Asia should no longer be considered a safe haven for Western paedophiles, he added.