TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A female Vietnamese immigrant has been arrested for allegedly operating a prostitution ring in southern Taiwan's Tainan City, following a raid on her massage parlors that netted 13 other arrests.
The Southern Administration Corps of the National Immigration Agency (NIA) reported that the woman had opened a chain of massage parlors specializing in erotic massage in Tainan City's Shanhua and Xicheng districts. The NIA said that she had been advertising the illicit sexual services on Facebook.
After receiving a tip, the NIA notified the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office and began investigating the case. After several months of investigation, officers from the NIA, the Tainan City Investigation Bureau, and the Shanhua Precinct of the Tainan City Police Department carried out a raid on the brothels.
During the raid, two male customers were found to be engaging in sexual transactions at the scene. All told, the officers arrested the suspected Vietnamese owner of the parlors surnamed Le (黎) and her partner, nine Vietnamese women, and three male customers.
According to the initial investigation, Le would allegedly attract young women from her hometown in Vietnam to her massage parlors in Taiwan. She allegedly assisted the women in applying for visas and lent them money, which they paid back to her through profits made by performing sexual services for Taiwanese clients.
Customers were charged NT$500 for each session. From these proceeds, Le would take a percentage for rent, water, and electricity bills.
In order to avoid arrest, Le rented housing next door for the masseuses to flee to in the event of a police inspection or raid. In addition, she installed TV monitors linked to surveillance cameras so as to spot any police inspectors in advance.
When police arrived on the scene, some of the sex workers managed to flee. However, officers spotted footprints and traced them to the adjacent building, where five of them were found hiding under cotton quilts.
In addition, the officers discovered a large stash of condoms hidden in the ceiling panels. The suspects were taken to the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for prostitution and were formally charged with the crime in late January of this year.
Footprints of one of the masseuses visible on floor. (NIA photo)