Thu, Feb 16, 2017 - Page 4 News List

City councilor charged with human trafficking

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday charged Chiayi City Councilor Hung Yu-jen (洪有仁) with illegal gambling, human trafficking and corruption.

Hung is accused of forcing Thai transsexual entertainers to provide sexual services at his nightclub after hiring them to perform dance shows.

Hung, an independent, and his associates have been investigated amid allegations of providing sexual services, operating an illegal casino and using fake names to collect extra fees and subsidies for his council office.

Hung allegedly colluded last year with a labor broker, surnamed Feng (馮), to hire five Thai transsexual entertainers.

When the Thais arrived, they were confined and their movements controlled by guards, police said.

“Hung and his associates housed the Thai entertainers at two residences, and had them watched to stop them from running away. Threats of physical violence were used to force the entertainers to provide sexual services to male customers. They were not able to ask for help because of the language barrier and did not understand Taiwan’s laws and had no friends,” police said.

Vice squad officers in February and October last year raided Hung’s nightclub after tip-offs, and found the Thai entertainers engaging in sexual services, contrary to their employment contracts for performing in variety music and dance shows.

Hung’s nightclub made about NT$21.6 million (US$702,096) last year, police said, adding that the Thais were paid, but each had to “service’ at least 15 customers each month and would be fined NT$70,000 if they refused a customer.

One entertainer told investigators that Hung told him perform oral sex service for a client for NT$500.

“Hung had a very good relationship with the local police, so we were afraid of him and did not dare to report our situation to the police,” one of the Thais said.

Hung was elected to the Chiayi City Council in 2014 for a fourth term.

Hung is reportedly well-known in organized crime circles, going by the nickname “Tiger-Nose Boss.”

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