TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over 50 people were arrested in a raid on a Taipei brothel on Thursday (Oct. 24), including dozens of foreign nationals from China, Thailand, and Vietnam, some of whom had posed as tourists, while others had been duped into thinking they would be working as beauticians.
At a press conference on Friday, Chen Wei-jen (陳偉仁), chief of an investigation squad at the Wanhua police precinct, said that police had received a tip that prostitution was suspected of occurring inside the notorious Diamond Building (鑽石大樓) on Kangding Road in Taipei's Wanhua District, reported CNA. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, nearly 100 officers raided the complex and sealed its exits.
Inside, officers arrested 10 Taiwanese suspected of organizing the sex trafficking ring and 42 sex workers, including six Taiwanese, two Chinese, six Vietnamese, and 28 Thai nationals, according to the report. Officers on the scene seized evidence including account books, condoms, and lubricant.
After questioning, the 10 suspected ring leaders were transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office on charges of violating the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) and the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (人口販運防制法). As for the fate of the 42 sex workers, some were transferred to the National Immigration Agency for further investigation, and some were repatriated to their home countries.
The six Taiwanese brothel workers were charged with violating the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法). Police found that many of the foreign nationals had come to Taiwan under the guise of "sightseeing" only to end up working in the sex trade.
Police said that the women had been subjected to many hardships, including being forced to take injections to halt menstruation, serving customers nonstop throughout the day, having their passports confiscated, and seeing their pay docked by up to 50 percent by pimps, reported SET News.
Police added that the prostitution ring organizers would often dupe the women into thinking they would be working in nail salons, beauty shops, or massage parlors. Later, they would employ violence and intimidation to force them into prostitution.