Police in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam on Tuesday broke up an online prostitution ring that had been raking in approximately VND1 billion (US$44,000) each month from the sex workers and clients.
Nguyen Xuan Hoang, 37, Le Minh Sang, 28, Bang Thi Hiep, 27, Le Hoang Trung Nghi, 29, Nguyen Phi Bang 37, Nguyen Dinh Bach Huy, 24, Nguyen Thi Bach, 41, and Nguyen Thanh Tam, 24, are currently in police custody for their roles in operating the Internet-based prostitution ring, the provincial police department said.
During a swoop on the ring’s headquarters, police seized approximately VND2 billion ($88,200) in cash, several phones and tablets used to run the racket, and dozens of credit cards.
Officers also raided several hotels in the province and nabbed 16 couples for engaging in paid sex.
According to the authorities, the prostitutes involved in the ring sought out clients online.
Nguyen Xuan Hoang, who police say headed the group’s operations, confessed that the ring was able to earn over VND1 billion ($44,000) each month thanks to the participation of 200 sex workers from across Vietnam.
The racket essentially acted as a broker for the prostitutes involved, with each sex worker paying the ring VND3-8 million ($132-352) each month using a digital currency named 'Perfect Money.'
To hide their identities from police, members of the ring used fake bank accounts and phone numbers to communicate with the sex workers via social networks and chat applications such as Zalo and Facebook Messenger, said Vo Nhat Hong Phuc, deputy director ofthe Dong Nai criminal police department.