The Macau Public Security Police (PJ) caught four women from Tanzania over the weekend in a hotel in the centre of Macau on suspicion of human trafficking and prostitution.
PSP spokesman Lao Kuok Hei told a press conference Sunday that officers received a tip-off on Friday that a group of Tanzanian women were involved in prostitution in a hotel in the city centre.
The following day, officers went to the hotel to investigate.
They searched five rooms where they found 38 women from Tanzania aged between 19 and 34. Two Tanzanian men were also found in the rooms. However, both were set free.
One of them, a 20-year-old sumamed Mussa, told police that she got tricked into moving to Guangzhou for a sales job but when she arrived was pushed into prostitution earlier this year. She came to Macau last week to extend her visa, where she was coerced into prostitution and had any money she earned taken during her stay.
Mussa also claimed that on Thursday she was beaten up by her “madam” after telling her that she wanted to return to Tanzania.
Officers also found the madam, a 30-year-old woman named Doya, in possession of two books showing ‘business transactions’. They also found another book with similar records with a 28-year-old woman named Cecilia. Both suspects denied that the books belong to them with Doya further denying that she had ever coerced anybody into prostitution. Most of the women also denied being prostitutes, only saying they were in Macau on their way to the mainland or back to Tanzania.
Lao said Doya and Cecilia would be transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP), with Doya facing possible charges of human trafficking and assault, while Cecilia faces a pimping charge.
Two of the 38 women who are overstayers – a 21-year-old named Paschal and 25-year-old named Kibopile – told officers
that they booked the rooms with the other two suspects because of which both will also be sent to the Public Prosecution Office for possible arraignment.
While prostitution is not illegal in Macau, it is illegal for visitors to engage in gainful employment. Procuring is also illegal. (macaunews/macaupost)