Hong Kong police arrest Japanese actress and track syndicate that lured her to city to provide sexual services
- Police search for prostitution ring after arresting two women, including one from Thailand, at Tsim Sha Tsui hotel
- 16 women arrested in raids against illegal employment and prostitution conducted in Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei
Hong Kong police are tracking a prostitution ring that lured women, including a Japanese AV (adult video) actress, from overseas to the city to provide sexual services at a hotel.
A source said he believed the syndicate took advantage of the easing of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions to bring sex workers from abroad into the city.
Last month, Hong Kong switched to the “0+3” arrangement that requires arrivals to undergo three days of medical surveillance at home or in a hotel, during which they are free to go out but cannot enter places such as eateries and bars.
Previously, the city had a “3+4” arrangement for arrivals, a scheme that meant three days of compulsory quarantine in designated hotels followed by four days of home medical surveillance.
In a crackdown on the syndicate, undercover police officers posing as customers were deployed to a Tsim Sha Tsui hotel to gather evidence before arresting two sex workers on Monday.
The two suspects, who entered the city with travel visas, included a 27-year-old female tourist from Japan, who was an AV actress. The other woman is from Thailand.
A source said the investigation showed the Japanese woman was offered a free air ticket and accommodation to come to the city. She arrived in Hong Kong about a week ago before being taken to the hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui’s entertainment district, where she stayed and worked.
“The syndicate posted an advert with her picture on Telegram along with contact details highlighting that she was a Japanese AV girl,” he said.
Clients were then told to go to the hotel for sex and each customer was charged between HK$6,000 (US$760) and HK$7,000 for sex services. The vice racket took about 60 per cent of the proceeds as commission.
“The investigation showed an agent from the syndicate went to the hotel and collected money from the two women every day,” the source said.
He added officers were still investigating the extent of the syndicate’s illegal business and were also trying to track down its ringleader and core members.
The two suspects were among 16 women arrested in a series of raids in Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei in a joint operation by police and immigration officers against illegal employment and prostitution on Monday.
According to the force, they comprised four mainland women and 12 expatriate women. They were detained on suspicion of breaching their conditions of stay, overstaying and taking employment illegally.
Under the Immigration Ordinance, breach of conditions of stay is punishable by up to two years in jail, while taking employment illegally carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.