Four young Vietnamese have been detained for using social media and apps to offer prostitution brokerage, according to police in the northern city of Hai Phong.
Nguyen Thi Tuyen Ngan, 17, Hoang Duy Hung, 22, Vu Van Hai, 22, and Hoang Van Hung, 23, are being kept in custody for officers to investigate their pimping charges, said Colonel Le Hong Thang, an official at the provincial Department of Police.
The suspects took advantage of several prominent social media sites and apps, including Facebook, Wechat, and Zalo, to upload obscene photos of sex workers, along with contact details of the pimps.
They charged VND500,000 (US$22) to VND3 million ($135) for each ‘deal.’
The illegal group also posted their recruitment on the sites, along with requirements such as young, good-looking, and bright-toned skin girls, and an attractive payment of VND400,000 ($18) to VND20 million ($897) for each time they prostitute themselves.
The illicit operations were unearthed by cyber police forces under the management of the Ministry of Public Security.
According to officers, the suspects started offering their services in Hai Phong and later expanded them to other localities, including Hanoi and the northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, among others.
After several months, the four suspects were arrested on April 4, as police swooped on a hotel in Le Chan District, catching Ngan red handed offering prostitution brokerage services to two clients.
Based on the preliminary statements of Ngan, police officers carried out an emergency search at the homes of the other three, confiscating a car of the Emgrand make, 21 mobile phones, and one laptop.
Officers discovered over a hundred phone numbers and 200 accounts on the social media sites that the suspects have created to conduct their unlawful activities.
Duy Hung admitted at the police station that he and Ngan began their operation in October 2015, primarily via Facebook.
The two later recruited Hai and Van Hung to be in charge of posting status updates to advertise their services and answering phone calls of clients.
Meanwhile, Duy Hung and Ngan would directly escort sex workers to meet their customers at prearranged places.