Mon, Jan 17, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Soldiers involved in gigolo scam to be reprimanded

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

All the soldiers involved in a scheme by a club operator who told them they could receive training to become club hosts or male prostitutes for a small “down payment” will be disciplined, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.

Kaohsiung police said late last month they had busted a fraud ring that deceived more than 1,000 men by claiming it would train them to become well-paid club hosts or male prostitutes for a training fee.

During the investigation, Kaohsiung police discovered that about 60 of the victims were members of the military and informed the ministry of the matter.

Ministry spokesman Major General Yu Sy-tue (虞思祖) said an internal investigation revealed that more than 40 soldiers were cheated out of money, while 20 had provided their personal information to the fraud ring, but did not make any payments.

The men involved in the scandal were mostly volunteer soldiers, Yu said, adding that the highest--ranking was a captain.

The personnel were army, combined logistics commands and marine officers, Yu said.

Military personnel will now be taught how to avoid scams when looking for a job, he said.

The fraud ring in question was Paris Entertainment Co, which allegedly told interviewees they could earn a minimum of NT$70,000 per month as club hosts.

After paying a NT$200,000 fee, the men received a short period of training before being informed they did not qualify and that the money was non-refundable.

Police said some individuals paid more money to be allowed to continue training and a few — including soldiers — lost as much as NT$600,000 in total.

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