New Taipei Police Arrest 37 in Prostitution Bust

sex workers
Photo by quinn norton (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons

After nearly a year of monitoring, New Taipei police raided an illegal prostitution ring, arresting 37 people and seizing NT$120,000 (US$3994) in illegal income, Apple Daily reported.

On Monday, 120 Police searched three sites used for prostitution and another three suspected houses for illegal immigrants used in the operation. Many of the women were allegedly housed in long-term hotel rooms.

Police arrested four people suspected of running the operation, 16 Thai women, four mainland Chinese, five customers, and eight other workers. Authorities said that the women were lured to work at the brothel under the guise of tourism in Taiwan.

The men accused of running the operation allegedly took trips to Thailand and other countries to recruit women almost every month. The men used the visa-free stay under the New Southbound Policy to bring in women more easily. They also rented clubs for “training” purposes.

The prostitution operation reportedly used LINE and JK Forum (捷克論壇) to attract customers and even had questionnaires to match clients with what they wanted. The operation had a call center with 70 mobile phones and 10 computers with 13 people to schedule appointments around Taiwan. The women were mainly held in northern Taiwan around Banqiao, Luzhou, and Wanhua.

The women could reportedly earn NT$200,000 (US$6658) per month for the operation, meeting up to five customers per day. Police noted that most of the women arrested had STDs, including syphilis.

The 34-year-old man in charge of the operation, surnamed Tsai, was held on NT$60,000 (US$1997) bail. Three other accomplices were held on NT$50,000 (US$1664) each. One additional suspect is still being sought.

Authorities said that the women would be deported to their home countries. Meanwhile the men in charge of the operation are subject to less than five years in prison and up to a NT$100,000 (US$3329) fine.

In August, another prostitution ring that brought in Thai women on landing visas was busted in Taichung. Meanwhile, Taipei has floated the idea of regulating prostitution in Wanhua District.

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