Five Vietnamese women were detained Monday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, as local immigration officials busted an international prostitution operation.
The Star Online reported that 28 women, including those from China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Thailand and Turkey, were apprehended during the raid at a three-star hotel.
Officials also held five local men, who acted as supervisors and middle men, and seized cash worth around $20,000, suspected to be proceeds from the services provided by the women, immigration officials were quoted as saying.
Initial investigation found the women entered Malaysia using social visit passes for 90 days and they were able to earn a lot of money via prostitution at the hotel.
“Among the offenses identified were no identification documents, overstaying and other offenses which flouted the Immigration Act,” a senior officer was quoted as saying.
In January, police in Malaysia also found five Vietnamese women working at a prostitution ring in Malacca, but identified them as victims who had been trafficked to work there.
The number of Vietnamese trafficking victims jumped a staggering 13 percent in 2016 from a year ago to 1,128, according to Vietnam's police reports.
Most were sold to men seeking wives in China, Malaysia and South Korea, or just to bear children or work as prostitutes in those countries.
According to the U.N., a third of trafficked women and children are from Southeast Asia.