Tinder, Sailor, Hooker, Pimp: The U.S. Navy’s sex trafficking scandal in Bahrain
It all started on WhatsApp.
The first in a cascade of U.S. Navy investigations into sailors accused of trafficking, housing and pimping female prostitutes in the Middle East can be traced back to June 2017 and a string of sex-charged encrypted text messages between a sailor in Bahrain and a Thai prostitute he met on the island.
“Yo u sexy than a mother fucker with your mean ass,” Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Jihad H. Littlejohn had texted the woman on June 4, 2017, according to Navy court records.
Prosecutors would later allege that Littlejohn, a 29-year-old from New Jersey then assigned to the patrol ship Hurricane, had paid the so-called “working girl” for sex.
“I want to sleep on your titty,” the sailor had texted her.
“Lol you gotta pay,” she replied, according to court records.
But the woman, Lin Raiwest, was more than just another prostitute. Court records show she also was known as a “mamasan,” a pimp who managed her own stable of prostitutes that she trafficked, protected and profited from.
Raiwest’s chats with Littlejohn soon turned to bigger business, prosecutors later alleged.
Court records show she told him she was going to buy “some more girls” from Thailand and would put them to work in Bahrain’s lucrative sex trade ― one often fueled by U.S. military personnel stationed there.
“You want some?” she asked the sailor in a text.
“Hell yea I do,” Littlejohn replied.
“Girls for what?” he asked.
“Work. Make money,” Raiwest answered. “Don’t tell nobody tho.”