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Supply ring for illegal sex workers smashed in raids, saturday March 24, 2012
Mar 24 2012, 09:20 AM
Joined: 24-December 06
Member No.: 2,491
Source: The Standard
Police believe they have smashed a syndicate providing supplies to sex-service operators following the arrest of 44 people, including its leader. They also rounded up 12 mainland women and a 14-year-old boy. It took an undercover police officer about two years to collect evidence before raids on 13 premises including brothels and massage parlors, mainly in Mong Kok, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Kowloon West District (Crime) Superintendent Lo Kwok-kei and detective chief inspector Chung Nga-lun of the Fifth Crime Unit said the undercover officer infiltrated the syndicate in 2010. Lo said the syndicate made a profit estimated at HK$180 million over a period of three years and laundered at least HK$10 million. In the two-day operation, codenamed "Wavewatcher," in which 200 officers took part, police also seized about HK$300,000 in cash, 130 grams of cocaine and 500 grams of cannabis. They also found 130,000 condoms, 8,000 tubes of lubricant, 30 containers of detergent, 3,000 rolls of toilet paper and smuggled cigarettes in a 700-square- foot warehouse in Mong Kok. Lo said the group appeared to be well-organized, with an in-house warehouse supplying articles used in the sex business. The products, mostly from overseas, were generally priced much lower than those in the local market and were rarely found in the territory.
Police believe they were bought from third-world countries. Police allege one of those arrested, surnamed Wong, 41, is the ringleader, while the 14-year-old is believed to be a drugs courier. The syndicate would arrange to bring in the women from the mainland or buy them from other prostitution crime groups, and then force them to have sexual intercourse with clients. Those arrested have been charged with keeping or assisting in the management of a vice establishment, living on the earnings of prostitution, drug trafficking, money laundering, claiming and professing membership of a triad society, extortion and illegal residence.
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