A woman accused of keeping two Thai women as slaves and forcing them to do sex work to pay off their $ 45,000 debt has appeared in court.
57-year-old Rungnapha Kanbut is being tried in the NSW District Court after not pleading guilty to six charges, including deliberately owning a slave and handling the proceeds of the crime.
Kanbut reportedly said to two Thai women that they each had a $ 45,000 debt to pay off and would do so through their sex work after they arrived in Sydney and were brought to her in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
Rungnapha Kanbut, 57 (right), is on trial in the NSW District Court after not pleading guilty to six charges, including deliberately owning a slave and dealing with crime proceeds
Kanbut (right) reportedly told two Thai women that they each had $ 45,000 in debt to pay off and would do so through their sex work
The first applicant informed the court on Friday through a Thai interpreter that clients "spat" on her "quite often" and caused her bruises and that she told "Rung" about the abuse.
The woman interviewed by prosecutor Peter Neil SC said Kanbut's answer was "to take certain medications, just to take them until the time ran out, and only to keep the customer."
The first applicant said on Wednesday that she had been taken to a unit in the inner west of the city rented by Kanbut and her husband after arriving from Bangkok in November 2004.
The young Thai citizen had a conversation with Kanbut that evening.
"She said I owe her Australian $ 45,000," said the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Kanbut also asked if she wanted to rest or start working the next day, which she replied to the latter.
Mr. Neil asked on Wednesday, "Did Rung (Kanbut) tell you to keep a book of how many jobs you did to pay the debt ($ 45,000)?"
One of the Thai women who claimed to have been spit on and injured by her Sydney customers claimed that Kanbut (right) told her to "take certain medications" and simply put up with it
"Yes," she replied.
The woman, who started sex work in her early 20s, said she was also asked to give Kanbut her Thai passport.
"She said that after I repaid the debt, she would return it to me," said the complainant.
She told the court about the trial she had come to Australia for as a sex worker, including the fact that she had to take "completely nude" photos before, but had "passed" the test to be "nice enough" to post To be sent overseas.
"The photos were certain that I would not run away because if I ran away the photos would shame me," she said.
The man who organized her three-month tourist visa informed her hours before her departure that it had been approved.
The first complainant said she was taken to a unit in the inner west of the city rented by Kanbut (pictrued) and her husband after flying in from Bangkok in November 2004
The two Thai women were allegedly asked to hand over their Thai passports to Kanbut (pictured)
He gave her $ 100 before she got on the plane, picked up her cell phone, told her not to have a large bag, otherwise "it would look like I wouldn't be coming back" and told her not to pack sexy underwear.
The man took her Thai bank account book and told her she was going with a person called & # 39; Rung & # 39; live in Sydney.
The woman said she didn't have a "work name" for Australia or Thailand, but she had "a number" at home.
"Everyone has a number on their shirt and when a customer comes they can choose which number they want," she said.
Mr Neil said Tuesday that the fact that the applicants voluntarily came to Australia for sex work did not prevent the jury from discovering that either or both of the respondent were possessed – which is used – similar to how they were owned.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Clarke said there were problems with some of her allegations, but overall "the real problem here is whether or not what the witnesses describe is slavery or not."
The trial continues before Judge Nanette Williams.
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