A total of 18 male suspects were arrested on Monday on suspicion of pimping and being members of a South Korean prostitution ring in Macau.
A Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesperson announced the case at a special press conference at the PJ headquarters.
Of the 18 suspects, 10 are South Koreans aged between 23 and 49, while the other eight are mainlanders aged from 23 to 33, according to the spokesperson. All claimed to be unemployed.
The spokesperson said the police received an anonymous tip-off in April that a group of South Korean pimps were bringing young South Korean women to Macau to work as prostitutes. The police contacted Interpol and the South Korean police. The latter confirmed that the gang was scouting for “young and beautiful” women from South Korea to work in Macau.
According to the spokesperson, the gang used nine people carriers to transport the women to five-star hotels in Nape and Taipa to look for potential clients. If a client was found, he would be invited into the vehicle to pick one of the women, who would then go to the client’s hotel room. The spokesperson described the vehicles as “mobile aquariums”.
The gang also operated social media apps, the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson said each transaction was between HK$6,000 and HK$20,000. While the women were paid HK$2,000 for each deal, the remainder was split between the pimps. The women’s earnings were kept by the pimps who only paid them when their visas expired and they were returning home.
The spokesperson also said the police caught the 18 suspected pimps and 21 South Korean women in private flats in Nape and five-star hotels in Taipa yesterday.
The 21 South Korean women are aged between 24 and 37, the spokesperson added.
The police also seized HK$1.6 million in cash and a large quantity of condoms in the hotel rooms.
The spokesperson said the gang had been operating since February and had earned at least HK$3 million.
The spokesperson said the 18 suspects had been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further questioning and possible arraignments on organised crime membership and pimping charges.
The spokesperson did not say whether the 21 women will be punished for breaching their tourist visa conditions by working as prostitutes.
The gang’s kingpin is believed to be a South Korean man, the spokesperson said. The police believe that he has already returned to South Korea, according to the spokesperson. (macaunews/macaupost)