Austrian law enforcement authorities have busted an organized crime group from China and arrested seven people for making 150 Chinese women work as prostitutes in brothels.
However, it is believed that up to 300 women may have been trafficked by the same group.
According to a statement issued by the EU’s joint police network Europol, the young women were falsely promised jobs as nannies or masseuses. They were also asked to fork over €10,000 ($10,600) to pay for their visa costs, and then illegally brought to Vienna by one of the arrested gang members.
The young women were threatened with violence if they did not hand over their passports and luggage shortly after they arrived.
They would then be picked up by a different member of the gang and dropped off at “sex studios” owned by the group in Vienna. The victims were forced to work as prostitutes for many weeks before being transferred to other brothels in Austria, under the supervision of gang members.
All the money the women earned from prostitution would be given to the criminals.
After getting a warrant for the suspects’ arrests, police searched 13 houses where they seized the following evidence: €30,000 (more than $31,000 in cash), a handgun, handwritten notes revealing the activity of the gang, forged identification cards, counterfeit money, mobile phones and computers.
Europol offered support throughout the cross-border investigation by analyzing intelligence, facilitating information exchange, and extracting evidence from the mobile phones confiscated.
The investigation into the Chinese prostitution ring is ongoing.
Meanwhile, police in Connecticut have arrested 49-year-old Li Chenghua, a Chinese national who lives in Flushing, New York, after an investigation into alleged prostitution at Joy Healing Spa on Wednesday.
According to state police, troopers and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations helped with the investigation, NBC Connecticut reported.
Chenghua was charged with prostitution, and released on $10,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on November 30.
In 2014, we reported on another prostitution ring in Beijing that consisted of young women who breastfed and sometimes had sex with other adults.
Fifteen people, all part of a lactophile network called the “Wet Nurse Forum,” were arrested after it was found that websites were offering paid breastfeeding services.
One website offered services for 40,000 yuan ($6,400), and an additional 10,000 yuan ($1,400) for both breastfeeding and sex.
A reporter from The Beijing News went undercover and arranged to be breastfed by a 23-year-old woman for 1,000 yuan ($160), and another for sex for 1,500 yuan ($240).
It was mandatory for members of the forum to share their experiences, with photos of naked women in bed to prove that they had paid sex with the wet nurses.
And while breastfeeding another adult in China is not illegal, paid sex is.