Korean HCMC restaurant owners arrested for brokering prostitution

By Nhat Vy   March 30, 2024 | 04:00 am PT
Korean HCMC restaurant owners arrested for brokering prostitution
A Korean owner (L) of the Vitamin restaurant in HCMC is questioned by the police, March 30, 2024. Photo courtesy of the police
Two South Korean restaurant owners in HCMC have been arrested for allegedly having waitresses provide prostitution services to customers.

Hyeon Seungjun, 41, and Jeon Byung Hwa, 40, along with four others, were detained by police in District 1 Saturday to be investigated for procuring.

Previously, the police became aware of several suspicious signs at the Vitamin restaurant on Thai Van Lung Street, which exclusively served Koreans, Chinese and Japanese customers.

An investigation revealed that Hyeon and Jeon raised money together to manage the restaurant. They hired several Vietnamese and Koreans as waiters and waitresses. They also let their customers pick which waitresses would serve them, even providing prostitution services at nearby hotels. To evade detection, the restaurant did not serve Vietnamese patrons.

Every day, the restaurant received around VND300-500 million ($12,101-20,168), totaling to over VND10 billion in revenue a month.

On March 17, police officers raided two hotels and a luxury neighborhood near the restaurant, discovering 10 couples engaged in prostitution services. The women said they were waitresses at Vitamin, who were told to serve Korean customers.

At the same time, officers also raided the restaurant, arresting the two owners and four managers.

An investigation is ongoing.

Just two days prior, HCMC police also arrested two managers at Crystal restaurant on accusations of letting hundreds of waitresses provide prostitution services for foreigners.

Sex work is deemed a social evil in Vietnam, and procuring sex is a criminal offense.

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