Russian woman arrested for running prostitution ring in Saigon

By Quoc Thang   January 25, 2019 | 08:59 pm PT
Russian woman arrested for running prostitution ring in Saigon
Russian woman Prokofeva Elena, 28, is held at a police station in HCMC for running a prostitution ring involving foreign women. Photo courtesy of HCMC Police
Saigon police busted a sex work ring involving foreign women on Friday and detained a young Russian identified as the ringleader.

Prokofeva Elena, 28, will be investigated for "brokering sex services."

HCMC police simultaneously raided hotels in downtown Districts 1 and 3, and discovered four foreign women, two from Ukraine and two from Russia, having sex with Vietnamese customers.

The sex workers said they charged clients for VND6 million ($258) per hour, VND10 million for five hours and VND20 million ($862) a day. The deals were brokered by Elena.

Elena is said to have told the police that she had been running the prostitution ring for more than a month. She met young foreign women who needed money through social media networks and got them to come to Vietnam for sex work.

Preliminary investigations show that she covered all travel expenses for the women and took 50 percent commission from sex services provided. So far, she’s estimated to have earned VND150 million in commissions.

The city police said they’d had been watching the ring for a while before Friday’s crackdown.

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 ($4.26-12.78), while pimps and sex ring organizers can get between six months and five years in jail.

Foreign nationals convicted of providing sex services also face deportation.

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