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Latest vice raids target 4 prostitution rings

(Global Times)

14:05, September 19, 2011


Police watch over prostitutes at one of the seven hair salons and entertainment centers they raided at Dingfu Jiayuan community in Chaoyang district in June. Photo: CFP

Beijing police have arrested 112 suspects in connection with four prostitution rings, including 27 foreign prostitutes, the Global Times learned from police on Sunday.

A special team of 340 police conducted investigations and then raided the gang's hideouts and homes on September 6, confiscating over 100 mobile phones, 10 vehicles and over 60,000 flyers.

Their investigation found the gangs solicited customers by distributing flyers near high-end establishments. Using calls or text messages, they sent prostitutes to clients' hotels.

A press release from Beijing police said "the case involved the highest number of foreign arrests in Beijing… The crackdown aims to eradicate all social evils that go against the city's endeavors to advocate a healthy, civilized and high-minded lifestyle."

"They make contact through the Internet, where they post ads about foreign prostitutes," said Zi Xiangdong, spokesman from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB).

Police declined to provide more details of the foreigners' identities, such as nationality, or the locations of the arrests.

Punishments for foreign prostitutes are the same as those for Chinese, including detention and fines, said Lin Song, an officer with the Exit and Entry Administration under the municipal PSB.

Foreigners can be ordered to leave within a certain time or expelled if they are found breaching Chinese laws and the circumstances are serious.

Advertisements were still available on the Internet on Sunday. Liu Dong, a middleman advertising prostitution on a forum, claimed on Sunday that he could supply prostitutes from different countries when the Global Times called him.

"I have girls from Europe, like the Netherlands, France, Italy… The price starts at 1,500 yuan ($232) but Chinese girls are cheaper: 800 to 1,000 yuan," he said. Liu claimed he has no difficulty finding clients.

Since the crackdown on the sex industry started on April 11, 2010, Beijing police have shut down 66 illegal entertainment venues and broken up 1,040 criminal gangs, including 143 prostitution rings.

Chen Tianben, an associate professor with the Chinese People's Public Security University, said that prostitution has moved off the street.

"Sexual services normally hid in rented apartments, hair salons, massage parlors, and entertainment businesses, but now they have moved to the Internet. It's much more difficult to stamp out," Chen said.

The government has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy toward the sex trade, he noted.

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AR at 2011-09-2282.118.77.*
These "foreign" women, and probably a large proportion of the Chinese women, are very likely to have been the victims of trafficking. Punishing the victims is not going to halt the sex trade. Punishing the men who choose to buy sex from women and girls, and the pimps who choose to sell them, is the only way to halt the sex trade. This has been shown to work in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, where prostitution has severely lessened and where the women and girls are seen as victims of male violence rather than as criminals. If men were discouraged from buying women for sex, through threat of prosecution, the demand for prostitution would inevitably drop, meaning traffickers and pimps would be put out of business. It seems so obvious. This is the only way that has been proven to decrease prostitution.
PD User at 2011-09-2282.118.77.*
These "foreign" women, and probably a large proportion of the Chinese women, are very likely to have been the victims of trafficking. Punishing the victims is not going to halt the sex trade. Punishing the men who choose to buy sex from women and girls, and the pimps who choose to sell them, is the only way to halt the sex trade. This has been shown to work in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, where prostitution has severely lessened and where the women and girls are seen as victims of male violence rather than as criminals. If men were discouraged from buying women for sex, through threat of prosecution, the demand for prostitution would inevitably drop, meaning traffickers and pimps would be put out of business. It seems so obvious. This is the only way that has been proven to decrease prostitution.
  

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