Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Police arrest 26 foreign women in prostitution raids

Staff writer, with CNA

Since April 12, 26 foreign women have been arrested on suspicion of engaging in prostitution in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) after authorities began a campaign to crack down on the illegal sex industry, police said yesterday.

The women include 10 Chinese, five Vietnamese and four Thai nationals, all of whom arrived on tourist visas, the Taipei City Police Department’s Wanhua Precinct said.

The arrests came after police stepped up their investigation due to a reported influx of foreign women entering Taiwan as visitors and engaging in prostitution.

Most of them were staying in Wanhua, where prostitution thrives, despite being outlawed many years ago, police said.

Last month police raided an alleged prostitution ring in a hotel on Hankou Street and arrested 28 people, including 18 Thai nationals who had entered Taiwan as tourists, the precinct said.

Police said they carried out a comprehensive sweep early yesterday morning on Kangding Road near Wanhua Railway Station.

No one was arrested, but all of the suspected prostitutes were asked to leave the premises, police said.

Any foreigners who come to Taiwan on a tourist visa to engage in prostitution would be punished for contravening the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), police said, adding that they would be referred to the National Immigration Agency and deported.

None of the women entered Taiwan under the government’s “Kuan Hung Pilot Project,” they said.

The project is an electronic visa program designed to increase the number of quality tour groups from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

Wanhua is one of the oldest districts in Taipei. Prostitution was outlawed in 1997 by thenTaipei mayor Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

In other news, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday said that Taiwanese and Thai investigators on Friday arrested two Taiwanese for drug trafficking in Thailand and seized 15.85kg of heroin.

The CIB and the Thai Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) recently formed an ad hoc team to crack down on Taiwanese drug smugglers.

The CIB’s International Criminal Affairs Division had received intelligence indicating that some Taiwanese in Thailand had tried to smuggle drugs to Taiwan, its overseas office in Thailand said.

The team targeted an alleged drug trafficker surnamed Chen (陳) as he arrived at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok on Friday.

Investigators found about 7.2kg of heroin hidden in baby powder containers inside Chen’s luggage, the CIB said.

At about the same time, the NSB sent officers to a local hotel to arrest another Taiwanese suspect surnamed Hsieh (謝), where they seized 8.65kg of heroin, also disguised as baby powder, the CIB said.

The CIB would continue to cooperate with the NSB to track down the source of the heroin and the group in Taiwan responsible for the trafficking, it added.

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