Overnight, Australian men were among 11 foreign tourists arrested along with 14 sex workers during a raid on an illegal orgy at a Pattaya hotel. Police burst in on an illegal orgy at the Tulip Hotel in Pattaya. Supplied Dozens of middle-aged men were found with young Thai women. Police allegedly arrived to find people having group sex in the hotel room that was scattered with condoms, lubricant, sexual enhancement drugs and toys.
Walking Street is known for its sleazy bars and pleasure dens. Getty Images Bar girls entertain men at an establishment along Walking Street. Getty Images In line with values of its deeply conservative society, prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Fully nude entertainment is also banned.
And about 27, of those sex workers are based in Pattaya. A bar girl draws attention on Walking Street. Getty Images A ladyboy on Walking Street.
We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone. AFP What followed was months of late-night raids and mass arrests in brothels and clubs across Pattaya, with Western tourists among those bailed up by police. Officers also stormed pubs and clubs, seizing drugs and tobacco and drug testing patrons. While the crackdown settled things down for a while, residents said Pattaya was well and truly back to its own tricks — and may have become worse.
The city has seen a spike in violent crime over the past 12 months, including violent brawls between tourists. His alleged attacker, American man Jose Manuel Polanco, claimed he attacked Mr Robb in self-defence after seeing the Australian strangle a sex worker. Days later, a massive brawl broke out on Walking Street between British tourists and men of Middle Eastern appearance.
Getty Images Meanwhile, the sex industry has continued to thrive despite the crackdowns. Businesses have found a loophole to avoid prosecution for prostitution: Operators have also found ways to move the sex trade offshore.
Earlier this month, German authorities raided 62 properties and arrested seven men they allege brought Thai sex workers to Germany on fake tourist visas. British journalist Andrew Drummond, who specialises in crime in Thailand, said the other challenge to shutting down the sex trade was that it was a lucrative business for many facets of Pattaya society — from the sex workers, who often relied on earnings to support their families, to hotels, taxis, the mafia and, according to accusations, police.