Police say they have smashed a triad-controlled prostitution ring operating at a three-star hotel in Yau Ma Tei that used women from the mainland who were smuggled into Hong Kong. Vice-squad police posing as customers arrested two local men and eight mainland women aged between 17 and 25 at the San Diego Hotel in Woosung Street in an operation that began about 3.30am yesterday. The men's financial records were also seized. 'Investigations showed that four of the rooms were used for entertaining customers and the other two were used as accommodation for the girls,' an officer said. Police are still investigating how long the syndicate had been operating at the hotel. The syndicate, thought to be controlled by the Wo Shing Wo triad society, placed photographs of the girls on a sex website with contact phone numbers. Callers were told to go to a hotel room for sex. 'A preliminary investigation revealed that the syndicate smuggled girls into Hong Kong from the mainland by sea and then arranged for them to stay in the hotel,' another officer said. 'The fee for the girls was reported to be between HK$800 and HK$1,500, but the girls only received HK$140 to HK$300.' The eight women are illegal immigrants, one of whom is an overstayer, according to police. The two men, aged 26 and 44, are believed to be key figures of the syndicate. 'The investigation showed that they were responsible for taking care of the girls and collecting money at the hotel,' the officer said. A spokeswoman for the San Diego Hotel, Ms Yip, said measures would be taken to prevent a similar incident. 'We can't refuse rooms to clients, but if we find any illegal activities or our customers are disturbed, we must take action such as making a call to police,' she said.