Release 5 September 2005
Earlier this week, Foreign Prisoner Support Services received a letter from
'Rork' a foreigner working in Singapore, alerting us to the recent arrest
of his good friend, Miss Wandee Muangngam, a Thai National now serving an
eight month sentence in Singapore's Changi Women's Prison.
Wandee's story is an all too familiar one that many young Thai women fall
victim too. Wandee arrived in Singapore as a sex worker which in Thailand,
is a common occupation for young women in the poorest economic situation.
Being the eldest in her family, Wandee was simply trying the only way she
knew how, to earn enough money to feed herself and save some money for her
son, parents, and siblings.
Wandee was charged in September 2005 with corruption under Singapore's law
for bribing an Immigration officer. During a return trip to Singapore, at
the Immigration counter at the airport, Wandee was told that she would not
be allowed entry into Singapore if she didn't provide her mobile phone
number to the Immigration officer. Henceforth, that same Officer allowed
her entry and later contacted her saying that he could guarantee entry
visas for her friends for a fee. Wandee was reluctant but feared the
repercussions if she didn't cooperate with the Immigration officer . From
then onwards, Wandee found herself in a spiral of corruption activities
involving the said Immigration officer.
A close friend of Wandee's told Foreign Prisoner Support Service that he
thought Wandee was one of the nicest people he had ever known.
'She is a little gullible, but it is a shame that such a beautiful
individual has to find herself in such a situation.' said Rork. [Real name
withheld to protect source]
Rork learned of Wandee's incarceration late last week through Wandee's
brother in Thailand and has been trying to assist her through the Thai
Consulate in Singapore. Rork told Foreign Prisoner Support Service that he
was concerned that Wandee might not be able to represent herself well in
'As mentioned, her mitigating factors cannot be ignored. But if the courts
do not know of it, then how are they to account for it?' said Rork.
'It may all be too late to help her in terms of the incarceration but I am
hopeful that the Foreign Prisoner Support Services may be able to assist
Wandee to ensure that her stay in the prison is just and humane' Rork said.
Write to Wandee:
If anyone would like to write to Wandee please do so via this address.
Please ensure your letters are respectful to authorities and to Wandee
herself. This is a young woman who has suffered enough and needs people to
understand that her lifestyle was never by choice. She was a victim of
poverty and circumstance.
Miss Wandee Muangngam
Prisoner Number #R7837-2005
Changi Women's Prison
10 Tanah Merah Besar Road
Visit Officer Tel: 65469-895 / 65469-433
Records & Reception Office Tel: 65469-427
Khun Sukporn (Officer-in-Charge)
SINGAPORE Royal Thai Embassy
370 Orchard Rd., Singapore 0923
Tel: (65) 62354175, 67372158, 67373372 Fax: (65) 67320778