A second Thai sex worker has told a jury of taking months to pay off a $45,000 debt by handing over all her brothel earnings to a Sydney woman accused of "possessing her" as a slave.
Rungnapha "Lisa" Kanbut, 57, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to two counts of intentionally possessing a slave, two of exercising powers of ownership over a slave, and two of dealing with the proceeds of crime.
The two Thai woman, who voluntarily came to Sydney to do sex work, lived with Kanbut and her husband at their Sydney home, separately in 2004 and 2005, and have told the jury she took their passports which were not returned until they had paid off $45,000 each.
Judge Nanette Williams has told the jury the law defined slavery as "the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised, including where such a condition results from a debt or a contract made by the person".
Factors jurors could take into account included the exercise of powers of control over movement of the person which extend clearly beyond exploitative employment.
On Tuesday, the second Thai woman testified through an interpreter that Kanbut, whom she called Rung, was her "Mother Tac" - "someone who is looking after the working girls or has working girls under control".
Her three-month tourist visa and flight to Australia was organised by a man called Chang, in Thailand.
He told her not to "bring sexy clothes, pills or condoms" and bought her a long-sleeved shirt, pants and reading glasses so "I looked like a business girl to Australian immigration".
When she was taken to Kanbut's home on the day after her arrival in Sydney, Rung told her how she had to pay off - through her sex work - a $45,000 debt for getting her to Australia
"Rung said to keep working and bring her money every day," she said.
She was driven to various brothels for work, most days - from 10am to 10pm or midnight - except when she had her periods.
The woman said it took her four to five months to pay off the $45,000 debt, to which Rung had added the cost of phone cards and about two $1000 payments sent to her family in Thailand.
Her passport was then returned to her and she moved out of Rung's home.
She continues to do sex work in Sydney, but choses her hours and days of work.
The trial continues.
Australian Associated Press