Police yesterday announced they had shut down a cross-strait prostitution ring and arrested the alleged ringleaders.
Police said the group took advantage of loopholes in cross-strait exchange laws by bringing in Chinese women as “cultural entertainment performers” and trafficking them for sex.
Under the coordination of the National Immigration Agency (NIA), law enforcement officers with search warrants issued by the Taipei District Court apprehended 13 suspects and three Chinese women in raids in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan on Thursday.
NIA officials said the widening investigation is being handled by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
The two main suspects, a man surnamed Chu (朱) and a man surnamed Kuo (郭), allegedly forged documents, confiscated the women’s passports and used other means to exploit the women for use as sex workers.
Prosecutors said the suspects would likely be indicted on human trafficking charges, offenses against social morality, contravening laws governing the cross-strait relationship and violating the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪條例).
NIA officials said the group allegedly fabricated documents, such as proof of employment, government certificates and qualifications, to bring in young Chinese women as performers in troupes to tour Taiwan.
Law enforcement agencies caught wind of them last year, and through surveillance, they said they found the suspects had brought 82 Chinese women under six separate “tour groups” for entry into Taiwan in the past six months, each of whom was granted a three-month visitor’s visa.
Earlier last week, the NIA broke up another alleged cross-strait prostitution ring, arresting two Taiwanese suspects surnamed Wang (王) and Huang (黃) in China through cross-strait collaboration.
The suspects allegedly took advantage of loopholes in regulations in the government’s “open door” policy for Chinese tourists, bringing in young Chinese women on the pretext of independent travel in Taiwan to obtain short-term tourist visas and trafficking them in the sex trade.
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