A teenage girl was reportedly gang-raped by as many as 40 men who came into her home while her parents were at work in Thailand.
According to the victim’s mother, the attacks began when a man broke into the family home in Ban Koh Raet in Phang Ng, near Phuket, last May and raped her then-14 year-old daughter.
“Because I and my husband work as rubber tappers, we must leave our children alone between midnight and dawn,” the girl’s mother explained.
A few days later, the man returned with another man and raped the girl. The attacks continued and the girl was reportedly taken to huts where she was drugged and gang raped. It’s estimated that about 40 men raped the girl.
The girl’s mother noticed a change in her daughter’s behavior and became suspicious when she realised the girl was afraid at night. She questioned her daughter and eventually she began to tell her what happened.
The mother then took her daughter to the police station to report the attacks in March. Three suspects had been arrested and later released on bail, the Bangkok Post reports.
The mother asked local police to re-open the case on Sunday after she learned how many men more raped her daughter.
Thai police have said they’ve identified 11 suspects on the small island of less than 200 people. The girl identified five of the men as her attackers when police showed her photographs, the Bangkok Post reported Friday. The men will be questioned by police before arrest warrants are issued.
Deputy National Police Spokesperson Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, told reporters they’re investigating the possibility that the case could be considered human trafficking, as the victim said she witnessed other girls being raped, the Nation reports.
The governor of Phang Nga has called for police to transfer the case to the police headquarters of the province, as locals are concerned that all the men have not yet been identified.
“Officials should identify all 40 suspects to clear any lingering doubts,” one resident said. “Or else, the reputation of our village will be ruined. Since this case was first reported, no tourists have come to our area.”
“Think about children who live in the village. They feel stress as such a claim means their fathers may be suspects,” Yuttanakorn Juanjenkij, a governing official in Tambon Loryoong, said, the Strait Times reports.
Phuket Gazette reports the victim and her mother were brought to Takuapa Hospital for a physical and mental health check by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.