As the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit approaches, Bangkok's police have been given the impossible task of trying to clear the Thai capital's streets of prostitutes and beggars to impress visiting dignitaries. More than 1,000 prostitutes have been rounded up, charged and fined in the past month ahead of next month's meeting, during which Bangkok will host world and regional leaders and thousands of visiting officials, media representatives and security officers. Bangkok police have been out in force at night, with special 'suppression teams' swooping on well-known spots, but harried officers fear they have been set an impossible task. They admit that most of the ladies of the night leave police stations after being processed and go straight back to work. Police are also applying pressure to the city's beggars - who are often severely maimed or disfigured and work for organised crime gangs - to disappear until Apec is over. 'It's like trying to stick your finger in a leaky dam, and as fast as you plug one hole another one appears,' a senior officer from Bangkok's Bang Rak district said. 'We find [prostitutes], give them a talking to, hit them with a fine, and they just smile and laugh at us, because they know that within a few hours they'll be back on the game. Sometimes the same girls get picked up two or three times in the one night.' Hundreds of prostitutes - often part-timers who need extra cash to support their families or teenagers who want money to spend on designer items - take to the capital's streets each night. They flock to areas such as Lumpini Park, Sanam Luang and Klong Lot, where they loiter in dark areas in packs, usually sporting the standard uniform of strappy top, short skirt and clunky platform shoes. Police Major-General Phadet Thalawong, chief of the metropolitan police division that takes in most of the city's prostitution black spots, said: 'The message is clear. We want these women to stop selling their bodies, at least until Apec is over.' Police have also announced that trucks and large vehicles will be banned from high-rise buildings, department stores and hotels amid warnings that Jemaah Islamiah or al-Qaeda may be planning acts of terror during the summit.