A covert special forces unit and an international team of undercover investigators join forces to hunt down a notorious sex trafficking ring. The team’s mission: save thousands of women forced to be sex slaves. Their target: a Thai-Uzbek sex ring earning millions of dollars a year trafficking women from Central Asia into Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand. This is a ring that will kill to survive.
FREELAND Foundation’s Steve Galster is a man who has risked his life for two decades fighting the most dangerous wildlife traffickers in world. Now he’s using those same hard earned skills to combat human trafficking in Thailand. Sex tourism may be one of Thailand’s most profitable industries. Many of the foreign men who enter the country come for sex – the demand is high, and the market is massive. Servicing this demand are women trafficked from all over the world, including those women lured to Thailand by a vicious Thai-Uzbek ring. Most Uzbek women come to Bangkok out of financial desperation; they believe they’ll get good jobs, but they end up as slaves. Galster’s goal: assemble an A-team of international investigators he’s dubbed “Operation Graceland,” and work with local law enforcement – the Anti-Human Trafficking Division and a Thai Special Undercover Team – to build a case against the Thai-Uzbek ring.
In order to infiltrate the ring, Operation Graceland must devise multiple plans of attack. Meeting with confidential informants in seedy Bangkok neighborhoods, confidence buys, and wearing hidden cameras, are just some of the tactics Steve and his team will have to employ. Wired with buttonhole cameras, Steve and Operation Graceland team members will head out to a local disco to see if they can get a positive ID on some of the traffickers. Providing the team with intel and offering technical advice are, United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) Regional Manager, Matt Friedman, and NightLight International’s, Annie Dieselberg. Both are foreigners based in Thailand. Between them they have over 30 years of experience fighting human trafficking in Asia. They’ll head out on the streets to locate women who need their help and who want to escape from the ring. And working with Operation Graceland is a legend. One of Thailand’s most famous anti-trafficking cops and the former head of Thai Immigration, General Charnwut Vajarapuk, has brought together a team of Thai Undercovers to assist the operation. Together, Charnwut’s team and Operation Graceland target a hotel in the heart of Bangkok’s Red Light District. Charnwut believes the hotel is the Thai-Uzbek ring’s headquarters – the very center of the trafficking operation turning women into sex slaves.
For Operation Graceland and the Thai government, it is do or die. Success will depend on whether or not the two are able to work together to bust the ring in order to supply the evidence necessary to win a case against the Thai and Uzbek traffickers. Rehearsals for a takedown are underway, but will Operation Graceland find a direct line into the ring? The future of Operation Graceland hangs in the balance.
Tune in to 21st Century Sex Slaves tonight at 10P to find out.