Police gather with a social worker outside of the raid location.
Ratana* trusted Ceanay,* a teenage girl who promised a quick way to make money. At just 14 years old, it was easy for Ratana to look up to Ceanay as someone who was cool, street smart, and reliable.
Unfortunately, Ceanay’s plans for Ratana were anything but trustworthy.
Ratana was trafficked, illegally sold to older men to provide sexual services. She saw little of the money from the customers; Ceanay kept most of it. Ceanay crafted tweets advertising Ratana, saying frankly, “we have service girl.” When buyers reached out, Ceanay sent them photos of Ratana.
That’s how The Exodus Road’s Thai investigators first saw Ratana. From her slight frame and soft face, they could tell she was still a child.
The location where police performed the Operation Peer raid, rescuing Ratana.
That fact immediately flagged the situation as human trafficking. Investigators began working on gathering additional evidence, collecting all of the information that police would need to intervene. This included investigators posing as customers in order to learn more about Ratana’s situation.
Once they had all of the information they needed, investigators worked with police to coordinate a raid. Still acting as buyers, investigators got Ceanay to agree to bring Ratana to meet them at a hotel room one evening. Police gathered there first, along with both a government social worker and a social worker from The Exodus Road’s Freedom Home.
Ceanay pulled into the dark hotel parking lot with Ratana on the back of a motorbike. A few dim streetlamps and the brightly colored hotel sign provided the only illumination as Ratana entered the hotel room, prepared to meet her presumed customer.
Police made their move. They arrested Ceanay in the parking lot, ending her exploitation of the younger girl.
Social workers sat with Ratana, talking her through the sudden plot twist: she was not going to be bought that night. She was going to be freed and cared for.
Ratana is now in a government aftercare home, receiving support as she is restored to the kind of life a 14-year-old should have. The Exodus Road’s social worker will continue to check in, ensuring that Ratana is being equipped to return home to her family.
Ratana is the latest child who is no longer being bought or sold because of your support of our investigators in Thailand. Thank you for being a part of her freedom!