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13 women forced into prostitution rescued in southern Vietnam

By Quoc Thang   May 18, 2019 | 05:02 am PT
13 women forced into prostitution rescued in southern Vietnam
Saigon police rescued 13 women Saturday from 6 massage and coffee places that offer erotic services in the city and neighboring provinces. Photo by Shutterstock/Rafal Bloch
Thirteen women coerced into prostitution in massage parlors and other establishments in Saigon and neighboring localities were rescued Saturday.

The women were beaten, held against their will, tortured and forced into sex work to "pay off debts" at 6 massage parlors, hair salons and coffee shops.

Police have arrested Do Van Tuan, 27 and four others for extortion and illegally detaining people. The five were responsible for tricking dozens of women into working for massage parlors offering erotic services, the police said.

Tuan posted job offers on social media channels like Zalo and Facebook and tricked unsuspecting girls into working for establishments that offered erotic services. He would collect between VND8 million ($342) and VND10 million ($427) as referral fees from the owners, after which the girls were forced to work to pay off the "debt."

Do Van Tuan, 27. Photo courtesy of the police

Do Van Tuan. Photo courtesy of the police.

The rescue happened after an unnamed woman reported to the police that her 24-year-old daughter had been tricked into a massage parlor on Nguyen Anh Thu Street in Saigon’s Hoc Mon District.

The daughter said she was not allowed to go out and was forced to repay debts set by her employer, adding there were many other girls in the same situation.

A police raid followed, targeting the six massage parlors, hair salons and coffee shops in Saigon and the neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

"The tricking of young girls into working for erotic massage places and prostitution dens in HCMC is not new. But many still fall for such tricks due to promises of easy jobs with high salaries," a police officer said.

Around 3,000 people are believed to be working as sex workers in Saigon, according to official data.

Under Vietnam's Penal Code, sex workers are given a warning and fined VND100,000-300,000 ($4.3-12.8), while pimps and sex ring organizers can get between six months and five years in jail.

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