Crime & Courts

Foreign nationals among 141 arrested in prostitution and entertainment ring bust [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Department busted a prostitution and entertainment syndicate in a special operation in Perak yesterday.

The department's deputy director general (of operations), Jafri Embok Taha said five locations were raided involving two brothels and three entertainment centres, during the 11pm operation.

The operation involved officers from; the Intelligence and Special Operations division, Special Tactical Unit (Pastak) and; Putrajaya, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Perlis offices.

"The operation was held following complaints and after a month-long investigation by the Intelligence and Special Operations Division and officers from Putrajaya.

"Five premises were raided and resulted in the arrest of 52 female Chinese nationals, 41 female Vietnamese nationals, 21 female Thai nationals, two female Indonesian nationals, one female Laotian national, eight male Bangladeshi nationals, four male Myanmar nationals, one male Indonesian national, and one stateless male.

"All detainees were aged between 18 and 36 years.

"Additionally, seven local males and three local females, aged between 35 and 44 years, who were premises caretakers, were also detained.

"The total number of individuals detained was 141," Jafri said.

Preliminary examination found that 32 Chinese female nationals, 15 Vietnamese female nationals, eight Thai female nationals, two Indonesian female nationals, and one male Myanmar national held valid Social Visit Pass (PLS), Special Pass, Temporary Work Visit Pass (PLKS), and Employment Pass documents, while the rest either did not possess any valid travel documents or passes to stay in the country.

Jafri said that they seized a handful of condoms, premises documents, business records, premises keys, sex equipment, 32 copies of Chinese passports, 15 copies of Vietnamese passports, eight copies of Thai passports, two copies of Indonesian passports, a copy of a Myanmar passport, cash amounting to RM14,155.00, 12 mobile phones, time recording cards, towels, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) equipment.

The syndicate at two of the premises would promote foreign women on the Telegram and Whatsapp applications.

Customers would be charged between RM200 and RM500 for on premises services and between RM800 and RM1,000 for outcall services.

Transactions were only done via case or online before the women were handed to customers in private rooms.

The three other premises however targeted only regular customers who made reservations via phone calls.

"There were separate entry and exit routes for customers and foreign female attendants in case authorities conducted inspections.

"Room reservations ranged from RM800 to RM10,000, while the charge for foreign women's reservations was RM150 for 1 hour.

"This syndicate had been operating for a year and earned a monthly profit of RM24,000," he said.

Jafri said some of the sex workers attempted to escape or hide in secret rooms built to evade law enforcement officers, including hiding in the ceilings and rooftops of the entertainment premises.

Some customers, he added, also attempted to provoke and prevent the enforcers from searching but were successfully thwarted.

"All foreign nationals were detained for suspected violations under the Immigration Act 1959/63, Passport Act 1966, Immigration Regulations 1963, and were taken to the Perak State Immigration Department, Ministry of Home Affairs Complex Ipoh, Perak for further action.

"Meanwhile, seven local male nationals and three local female nationals were detained for suspected violations under Section 56(1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

"Notices to appear at the office for assistance in the investigation were issued to 69 Malaysian male nationals, two Bangladeshi male nationals, and one local female national," he said.

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