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Ring selling sex for up to $20k busted in Vietnam, pageant winners involved

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 11:45 GMT+7
Ring selling sex for up to $20k busted in Vietnam, pageant winners involved
A cartoon depicts a winner of a beauty pageant offering to sell sex.

Vietnamese police have detained three people who led a prostitution ring of many models and winners of beauty contests, including a runner-up of a pageant organized at a university, who offered sex for US$1,000-20,000.

>> Cameras used to combat prostitution in Ho Chi Minh City 'red light districts'

After a long investigation, police from the Ministry of Public Security from May 25 to 27 arrested two men, 25-year-old Doan Ngoc Minh and 39-year-old Huynh Xuan Hung, and a 30-year-old woman, Tran Duc Thuy Lien.

They have been charged with “procuring prostitutes” pursuant to Article 255 of the Penal Code, police said.

All three are residents of Ho Chi Minh City, but procured prostitutes for wealthy men across the country, police said.

On May 25 at 5:30 pm, a police team, acting on a tip-off, raided the Ha Long Plaza Hotel in the northern province of Quang Ninh and caught two prostitutes having sex with guests in two rooms.

One of the sex workers was L.T.T., 29, of Quang Ninh, who was the runner-up in a beauty contest held at a university of theater and cinema.

T., with her charming smile, was once dubbed a “beautiful fairy” of Vietnam’s silver screen. 

The other was Huynh Thi T. L., 25, of the southern province of An Giang, who prostituted herself in place of another pageant runner-up.

Police then arrested Lien in the hotel lobby while she was waiting to receive payments from the customers.

Through the brokerage of Lien and Minh, T. and L. flew from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City respectively to Quang Ninh to sell sex at the said hotel for two days at a price of $7,000 per day for L. and $4,000 per day for T., Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper reported.

Also on May 25, another police team raided a hotel in Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi and caught two prostitutes serving guests. From the testimonies of these sex workers, police arrested Hung as a pimp.

Two days later, police apprehended Minh at his home in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

Lien told investigators that after receiving the payments of $14,000 and $8,000 from the clients in return for sex with L. and T. respectively, the ring would pay the two beauties $2,000 each and pocket the remaining amount.

Police are expanding their investigation to track down others involved in the group, which the three said operated on a large scale, organizing “sex tours,” both domestic and abroad, for well-off men, according to Cong An Nhan Dan (People’s Police) newspaper.

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