Court hears broke tourists turn to prostitution
ABC Online, Australia - Dec 5, 2005
Two Korean women holidaying in Toowoomba, in southern Queensland, could be deported after pleading guilty to prostitution offences.
Misun Yu, 27, and Hyun Kyung Lee, 33, appeared in Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to knowingly participating in prostitution.
Massage parlor prosecution is a costly affair
Trials' cost may top $1 million; cases also are full of animosity
Sunday, December 4, 2005 Massage parlor prosecution is a costly affair
Trials' cost may top $1 million; cases also are full of animosity
The judge, the lawyers and even some bailiffs and court clerks have said it has been the most unusual court proceeding they've been involved with.
It also might be the most expensive and time-consuming.
Louisville's decade-long fight against massage parlor prostitution is expected to culminate early next year
with a series of six trials to begin in February. Together, the cases are expected to take more than a year
and a half at an estimated $60,000 per trial, according to the trial judge.
More Koreans Buy Sex Abroad
A civic group has urged the government to develop measures to prevent an increasing number of Korean men participating in the overseas sex trade.
The Seoul-based Naeil Women’s Center for Youth said Monday that the participation of Koreans in sexual exploitation in the Philippines and Cambodia is getting serious, and called on the government and the public to raise their awareness of the sexual exploitation of youth in other countries.
Kim Young-ran, head of the center, and other participants in an international symposium described a couple of cases in which Korean men had sexual intercourse with underage prostitutes in other countries.
The center yesterday held an international symposium on the theme of ``Conditions and Countermeasures to Overseas Child and Youth Sex Tourism by Korean Men’’ at Seoul Women’s Plaza in Taebang-dong, southwestern Seoul.
According to the panel and the center, a Korean man operating a massage parlor with his masseuses in the Philippines was arrested on charges of prostitution in August 2004.
He and his employees faced criminal charges without bail as they violated the Republic Act (RA) 9208, Kim said.
``An increasing number of Koreans bought sex in the Philippines, sometimes abusing prostitutes. The Philippine government has urged the Korean government to take firm action against soliciting prostitutes, in particular buying sex from children,’’ the panel said.
The panel also pointed out that Cambodia has recently become popular with Korean tourists.
In 2004, the number of Korean travelers to Cambodia was 128,423, 12.7 percent of the total number of visitors, the largest number of visitors to Cambodia.
The price of freedom
A Denver police crackdown on prostitution reveals women held at Asian massage parlors until they repay debts for being smuggled into the U.S.
Denver police raided 18 Asian massage parlors and arrested 35 people in the past six months in a massive effort to curtail prostitution.
The arrests in what police say is a $20 million a year local industry have also led investigators to believe that
the massage parlors are part of an international effort to traffic in women who often are forced into prostitution to pay off those who brought them into the country.
The busts also have revealed stories of human trafficking from women in the massage parlors described by police as too frightened to cooperate.
"We'll continue to be very aggressive in addressing this disturbing problem," said Dave Fisher, division chief of investigations.
The problem, he said, is that the women are not willing to testify because those who control their lives in massage parlors have alleged ties to organized crime,
such as the Korean mob.
"They'll give us information on how it works, but when it comes down to convincing them to be involved in a prosecution case, it's tough," said Fleecs,
noting that only five of the 16 women identified as workers agreed to talk, and only then in general terms. "They're afraid."
The route from Korea to a Denver massage parlor is an elaborate one, according to Fleecs. Women are allegedly brought illegally into the U.S.
from Korea and other countries by "brokers," men who are members of the mob.
Once in the U.S., the brokers transfer the women's smuggling debts - ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 - to a massage parlor employer who holds
their passports and other documents while the women live there and work seven days a week.
$450,000 grant to combat brothels
Borodkin urges focus on human trafficking
Armed with a $450,000 federal grant, police and state officials hope they will be able to curtail the growing presence of
brothels disguised as massage parlors and spas in the Denver area and beyond.
State Rep. Alice Borodkin, D-Denver, joined Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman at a news conference Sunday
at a strip mall housing a now vacant "spa" to talk about a recent sting operation
that led to 35 arrests of mostly Korean women on prostitution charges.
Women were told they might get $800 a day, affidavit says
By Ken Kobayashi
Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Wan Yo Kang, also known as "Hannah," identified as the owner,
on 11 felony charges of interstate promotion of prostitution,
enticing women to travel here for prostitution activity and harboring two women, illegal aliens, at the business' suite.
On Sept. 7, about five days after their arrest,
the nine appeared before a federal magistrate in their blue prison attire
and accompanied by Korean language interpreters
for one of several hearings on their status in the case.
Kang's business is one of an estimated 40 to 50 "relaxation parlors" ? offshoots of massage parlors in the early 1990s
? according to Honolulu Police Lt. Walter Ozeki.
They are generally located between University and Ward avenues, he said.
Job Brokers Held for Human Trafficking
Police on Sunday arrested a job broker suspected of luring some 200 women into prostitution in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Acting on a complaint from a 25-year-old woman identified as Lee, Seoul Metropolitan Police arrested five people including the 53-year-old broker identified as Hyun for involvement in the flesh trade.
Police say the gang forged employment certificates to obtain U.S. and Japanese visas and smuggled women into the U.S. through Canada.
Lee told police an acquaintance in March asked her if she was interested in working in the U.S. and introduced her to Hyun, who explained that she would be working as a nail artist or waitress. Lee paid the W8 million processing fee and in June arrived in the U.S, where she was joined by three other Korean women. Lee said she was startled when the women asked her if she had experience in prostitution and assured her it was easy because “everyone takes drugs.”
South Korean sex workers
City officials turn up heat on massage parlors
Cops raid alleged sex dens - again
Inspectors find beds instead of massage tables
Sex slavery laws need review: Pru Goward
Saturday, 13 August , 2005
Australia's sexual servitude legislation, aimed at reducing sex slavery and people smuggling, is not working, according industry insiders.
A former sex worker has told ABC TV's Lateline program that the crack down on the trafficking of Thai women to Australia has squeezed the industry elsewhere,
and South Korean women are now being smuggled instead.
And a report from the Australian Crime Commission this week has confirmed that the number of South Korean sex workers in Australia has increased.
Thai women are still being brought out but there is a big shift with Korean,
there's a lot of Korean women being brought in at the moment.
But in the case specifically of South Korean women they don't have to get the same sort of visas as Thai women,
they can get working holiday visas, so then they can work legally in Australia without so much difficulty.
Korean spas in Blount County attempted to bribe Brewer
U.S. Attorney Sandy Mattice said Thursday the Blount County Sheriff's Office could eventually receive ``more than $2 million''
in equitable sharing funds from Operation White Spider, a nationwide investigation of Korean spas fronting for prostitution involving local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The largest portion of the funds distributed Thursday -- $571,279 -- came from White Spider. Mattice said over $6 million in assets were or are being forfeited as a result of
the five-year investigation. There were 35 arrests in East Tennessee and 33 guilty pleas by the defendants charged with more than 750 felony counts including more than 200 violations of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization) Act.
The investigation began in 1997 when operators of Korean spas in Blount County attempted to bribe Brewer.
The judge immediately reported the bribery attempt and cooperated throughout the investigation by pretending to accept the bribes.
The investigation eventually expanded to Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, Kentucky and California.
As a result, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested many of the participants in the extensive criminal enterprise in July 2002.
Raids target Roxbury massage parlors,
Three sites closed as four workers face prostitution charges Saturday, July 30, 2005
Three Roxbury massage parlors were shut down and four workers arrested on prostitution
charges following an undercover investigation, Morris County Prosecutor Michael M. Rubbinaccio said yesterday.
Undercover officers visited the Yumi Spa on Route 10 and the Lucky Spot and Osaka, both on
Route 46, before the prosecutor's special-enforcement unit, county sheriff's emergency-response
team and county park police raided the parlors Thursday night, Rubbinaccio said.
Zhen Shun Shu, 48, and Young Soon Kim, 52, both of Flushing, N.Y.; Jin Shu Zhi, who would not
tell authorities her age and hometown; and Sun Ok Aban, 48, of New York, were charged with
engaging in prostitution, said Deputy Chief Paul Kalleberg of the prosecutor's office.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN BROUGHT TO THIS COUNTRY AND SOLD INTO MODERN DAY SLAVERY.
THIS WEEK, A FLORIDA HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP SAID THE PRACTICE IS ALIVE AND WELL.
AS FOX FIVE'S PATRICK MCGRATH REPORTS, IT'S A NATIONAL PROBLEM AND A LOCAL ONE.
THE VENERABLE OLD NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STARTLED READERS RECENTLY WITH A DRAMATIC ARTICLE AND PHOTOS DOCUMENTING TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SLAVERY.
THE ANTI-SLAVERY ORGANIZATION FREE THE SLAVES ESTIMATES THAT TWENTY SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE ARE UNDER SOME FORM OF SLAVERY WORLDWIDE.
JOLENE SMITH, FREE THE SLAVES: "PEOPLE ARE SHOCKED AND THEY ARE HORRIFIED. MOST AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT SLAVERY ENDED IN 1865 AND IN FACT IT'S WORSE THAN IT'S EVER HAD BEEN."
MOST SLAVES ARE HELD IN BONDAGE WITHIN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. IN INDIA MILLIONS ARE DEBT SLAVES WORKING AT GRUELLING JOBS SOMETIMES FOR DECADES TO PAY OFF FRAUDULENT LOANS WITH IMPOSSIBLE INTEREST RATES.
BUT AS MANY AS 900,000 PEOPLE ARE TRAFFICKED ACROSS INTERNATIONAL BORDERS EACH YEAR AND MUCH OF IT IS SEX TRAFFICKING.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SMITH, (R) NEW JERSEY: "THEY ARE USUALLY DEFRAUDED INTO BELIEVING THEY ARE GOING TO BE AN AU PAIR, OR A WAITRESS OR MAYBE EVEN AN ACTRESS SOMEWHERE, ONLY TO FIND WHEN THEY GET TO THE COUNTRY OF DESTINATION."
SMITH: "THAT THEY ARE LITERALLY PUT INTO...A SLAVELIKE CONDITION OF...FORCED...PROSTITUTION."
OXANA IS A 22 YEAR OLD RUSSIAN WOMAN THAT FOX NEWS DISCOVERED LAST YEAR WORKING IN A SOUTH KOREAN BAR THAT SPECIALIZED IN PROVIDNG SEX TO AMERICAN SERVICEMEN.
SHE HAD BEEN RECRUITED IN MOSCOW FOR WHAT SHE THOUGHT WAS A LEGITIMATE JOB BUT WHEN SHE ARRIVED SHE FOUND SHE WAS A VIRTUAL SLAVE.
OXANA: "I DON'T EVEN HAVE A PASSPORT AND ID CARD."
PATRICK MCGRATH: "YOU DON'T HAVE A PASSPORT?"
MCGRATH: " HOW DID YOU GET HERE? DID THEY TAKE YOUR PASSPORT AWAY?"
THIS FORM OF SLAVERY WORKS BECAUSE OF VIOLENCE OR THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE.
CATHERINE MOON, WELLESLEY COLLEGE: "IF YOU TRY TO LEAVE...THE PIMP OR BAR OWNER WILL SEND THUGS OUT TO COME GET YOU, BEAT YOU UP SO THAT YOU WILL STAY, BE QUIET AND WORK FOR THE BAR OWNER."
PRESIDENT BUSH, STATE OF THE UNION: "THE TRADE IN HUMAN BEINGS...FOR ANY PURPOSE..."
IN HIS SEPTEMBER ADDRESS TO THE UNITED NATIONS, PRESIDENT BUSH SPOTLIGHTED THE PROBLEM OF SLAVERY AND U.S. EFFORTS TO STOP IT BY ISSUING AN ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT. THE WORST OFFENDING COUNTRIES RANKED IN TIER THREE...FACE U.S. ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IF THEIR RECORD DOES NOT IMPROVE.
AND THE U.N. HAS PRODUCED POWERFUL PUBLIC SERVICE AD WARNING OF THE DANGERS OF BEING TRAPPED INTO SLAVERY.
BUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS NOT JUST A FOREIGN PROBLEM.
PRESIDENT BUSH: "THE PROBLEM HAS APPEARED IN...MY OWN COUNTRY."
AN ESTIMATED 20,000 PEOPLE ARE TRAFFICKED EACH YEAR INTO THE UNITED STATES.
SOME OF THEM WIND UP IN MASSAGE PARLORS.
REP. SMITH: "THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT MASSAGE PARLORS...ARE JUST FRONTS FOR PROSTITUTION RINGS."
IN WASHINGTON, NOT FAR FROM THE CAPITOL THE POLARIS PROJECT IS COMPILING A NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING COMPUTER DATA BASE.
DEREK ELLERMAN, POLARIS PROJECT: "WE SEE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES....OF NETWORKS EVERY DAY...BOTH CHINESE NETWORKS, LATINO NETWORKS...KOREAN NETWORKS"
HUMAN TRAFFICKING 101
Examples of a Decentralized Sex Trafficking Network in the U.S.
The Korean brothels in the United States are set-up and run in an extremely stereotyped manner,
but have no overarching coordination or hierarchy. A shared understanding of how to operate the brothels,
high degree of rotation through the networks,
and informal ties between transporters and owners have all contributed to the relative uniformity of their networks.
Korean Sex Workers Look for Greener Pastures
Korean sex workers are moving abroad after new anti-prostitution laws made the world’
s oldest profession more difficult at home, police say.
They are heading for the U.S., Canada and Australia, but some settle for countries such
as Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan better known for export rather than
import of sex workers. In North America, they apparently work in smaller cities and
towns as well as big urban centers like Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and
Toronto. Hong Kong and Europe have recently been added to the list of destinations.
“It seems that since the Special Law on Prostitution went into effect, the number of pimps and prostitutes going abroad is skyrocketing,” a police officer said. “But we don’t have the full picture since most leave the country ostensibly for tourism.”
Dedicated web groups are awash with advertisements drawing prostitutes abroad. A typical post on one such site boasting no fewer than 1,430 members - cafe.daum.net/zonesogeso - read, “We know that in Korea these days, unemployment, the recession and the Special Law on Prostitution make it hard to earn even half of what you made before. Try a new start in the U.S. W8-10 million a month in a bar, W18-24 million a month in a massage parlor guaranteed. Advances possible. We take care of visas and bad credit.”
There are dozens of groups on the Internet portal site Daum that hook up women looking for work abroad with pimps in the U.S., Japan and Australia.
Exodus of sex trade workers to Canada
Jul 7, 2005
New report says B.C. is a major hub for Korean sex trade workers as websites in Seoul urge women to go overseas and make up to $28,000 a month in massage parlours and bars.
A crackdown on prostitution in South Korea has triggered an exodus of sex trade workers to Vancouver, Toronto and cities in the United States, authorities in Seoul warn.
Several human smugglers and pimps in Seoul have also posted websites in Korea urging the sex trade workers to make money overseas.
A typical post on one such site boasting no fewer than 1,430 members ? www.cafe.daum.net/zonesogeso ? read, “We know that in Korea these days, unemployment,
the recession and the Special Law on Prostitution make it hard to earn even half of what you made before. Try a new W8?10 million a month (C$9,500 to C$12,000) in a bar,
W18-24 million (C$21,000 to C$28,500) a month in a massage parlor guaranteed. Advances possible. We take care of visas and bad credit.“
There are dozens of groups on the Internet portal site Daum that hook up women looking for work abroad with pimps.
Most of the sites require detailed member registration. To join one group (www.cafe.daum.net/goldgold486) with 320 members, applicants must indicate their height, age, weight and work experience
and upload a genuine photograph.
This month, federal prosecutors in the U.S. arrested about 50 members of two criminal organizations who fixed Korean sex workers up with jobs in San Francisco.
They are now holding about 100 Korean prostitutes, many of whom are believed to have entered the United States after arriving in Vancouver or Toronto.
U.S. prosecutors claim the bust was one of the biggest prostitution takedowns in history. The nine-month investigation of Korean prostitution rings was codenamed “Operation Gilded Cage.“
Authorities said the alleged San Francisco sex ring involved an elaborate operation that used a travel service to entice and bring in young women from South Korea
and a cab company to shuttle them between brothels.
Authorities believe that operators of the alleged sex ring targeted women from impoverished parts of South Korea.
The operators allegedly told the women they could work as waitresses and bar hostesses in America if each paid a fee of C$12,300 to C$18,600.
there continues to be anecdotal reports of large numbers of South Korean women trafficked through Canada to the United States.
The lack of a visa requirement to enter Canada has made Canada, particularly British Columbia, an attractive trafficking hub for East Asian traffickers.
Airline passenger analysis shows that the number of Koreans returning to Korea on flights from Vancouver Canada is 25 percent less than the number arriving on flights from Korea,
Authorities Bust Alleged South Korean Prostitute Smuggler Ring
Alleged Ringleaders Accused Of Bringing Hundreds Of Women Into LA
About 50 women who were working at the alleged brothels -- which authorities say were disguised as massage parlors, spas and chiropractic clinics --
were also taken into custody during the raids, though they have not been charged, authorities said.
A total of 23 people were named in a criminal information filed Thursday that charges them with conspiracy.
One of the alleged ringleaders, Young Joon Jung, is in custody, but another, Ho Kyung Kim, was one of five suspects who remained at large as of Friday afternoon,
The alleged brothels include spas in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and South Gate, and chiropractic businesses on Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.
The ring allegedly used private taxi drivers to take the women to the brothels.
The drivers also allegedly drove the women to Texas, Colorado and the San Francisco area to work as prostitutes.
The women apparently entered the United States from Mexico and Canada, and some came on tourist visas, Yang said.
Large Prostitution Ring Busted in L.A., S.F.
She described the ring as operating "a sophisticated human smuggling scheme believed to have brought hundreds of South Korean women into the United States to work as prostitutes"
in California, Texas and Colorado.
Some were smuggled into the country across the Mexican and Canadian borders. Others traveled to the United States
on fraudulently obtained visitors visas, according to Yang's office. Authorities allege that the women agreed to pay up to $16,000 each to be smuggled into the country.
US cracks open Korean sex smuggling ring in California!!!!
Korean Prostitution Ring in California Shames the Korean Community
JULY 04, 2005
The investigators point out that with the launch of a joint investigation team on prostitution and human trafficking in January this year in Los Angeles, Korean massage parlors in this area have been the center of prostitution. The rise in prostitution followed by human smuggling and trafficking that involved a criminal organization led the federal government to launch a massive crack down.
Jeong’s Organization led by Jeong Young-jun, 39-year-old Beverly Hills resident, in Los Angeles and Young’s Organization headed by Kim Ho-gyeong, 36-year-old room salon representative, were the targets of this investigation, the U.S. media quoted the attorney’s warrant on Saturday. Jeong was arrested on June 30. The attorney’s office pressed charges against 55, including Jeong and Kim.
Some of the Korean women who engaged in prostitution entered the U.S. with a visiting visa and others paid up to $16,000 to the smugglers and entered the U.S. via Canada or Mexico. Some of the Korean women volunteered to be sex workers in order to pay for their expenses, said the Attorney’s Office.
In May last year, U.S. investigators arrested a similar group of Koreans who engaged in prostitution brokerage and money laundering in Los Angeles. The group had raked in $1.5 million annually for 10 years before being arrested and $2.4 million worth of cash was found in one of the key members’ residences.
U.S. Busts Tell Sorry Tale of Korean Prostitutes Abroad
The number of Korean women looking for work as prostitutes abroad or being trafficked
for the purpose is on the increase. Some 50 members of two gangs busted in California
on Friday on charges of selling hundreds of Korean women to places of prostitution are
just the tip of the iceberg.
Destinations for Korean sex workers are no longer limited to developed nations like
the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan. Korean police say the number of women working
in bars, karaoke clubs and massage parlors in countries frequented by growing numbers
of Korean tourists like Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan is increasing. Meanwhile in North America the realm of activity of Korean sex workers is spreading
from major urban centers like Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto to
smaller cities and towns.
Authorities to seek deportation of 59 women in raids of massage parlors
Vietnam police on Tuesday officially arrested a Korean national who had allegedly run a prostitution ring which mainly served foreigners in Hanoi.
Ko Kab Ok, 46, who owned the Cheers Karaoke Bar at the Heritage Hotel, was nabbed at the Hanoi airport trying to exit Vietnam on Monday, and was charged with solicitation.
Police raided the Heritage and two other hotels in Hanoi last week, arresting 47 prostitutes, a procurer,
and three hotel and bar staff. They admitted that Ko Kab Ok managed a professional prostitution ring at his club.
Korean Sex Traders Lose Face in Vietnam
"Gender Gap Index"
GENEVA, Switzerland (May 16, 2005) ? South Korea showed nearly the poorest records in women's empowerment in a recently conducted study on "Gender Gap Index" in 58 countries
by World Economic Forum (WEF).
The study found that Sweden and other Northern Europena countries do bes while the US (17),
Switzerland (34), Japan (38), Brazil (51), India (53), and turkey (57) do less well.
Released May 16, 2005 by WEF, it is the first ever study that attempts to quantify the size
of the "gender gap" in 58 countries.
Entitled Women's Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap, the report measures the size of
the gap between women and men in five critical areas based on UNIFEM's (United Nations Development
Fund for Women) findings of global patterns of inequality between men and women:
＜54: South Korea
"We Want Government to Recognize Sex Trade"
A Sex Worker's Vivid Story on What They Need
The Seoul Times
"She lied to me that she was a company worker when she urged me to come to Seoul," she fumed.
"At first I was not able to forgive my friend." It was a shock for her to find out that a close friend
was a "working girl" in a room saloon.
"But, I changed my mind after I went to visit the room salon she was working," Kim said.
"It was not as bad as I imagined."
Because of hunger and money, Kim followed suit.
"Back then I was penniless. I had to starve for the whole week because I could not afford
to buy even a cup of ramyon (instant noodle)."
Things went from bad to worse. Her friend betrayed her. Kim was stranded on the streets
because her friend took off with the security money for the apartment they rented. From
then on and for nearly 10 years Kim went from one room salon to another across the country.
A group of sex workers with yellow cap and mask attending a protest rally against
new sex trade law in Pyongtaek in Gyeonggi Province Oct. 11, 2004. They claimed that their
livelihoods were threatened by the new law.
"There were several chances I could have quit this profession," Kim said. "I tried my best
to get a "white collar" job to no avail. But all the other jobs available to me were low-paying
part-time jobs like restaurant server or sales clerk."
"I could not live on that money with those jobs. I could not even pay for my rent," Kim continued.
"It was back then that I realized society is harsh for the uneducated like me,"
Two and a half years ago, Kim quit working at room salons for a full-time job as sex worker in
a red light district in Seoul. There was a hiatus of about three months in between.
"I had no income for the winter. I had to sell all of my personal belongings including valuables," Kim said
"I had to make a big decision."
With all that in her life, Kim voluntarily walked into a red light district in Paju, Gyeonggi Province,
a satellite city northwest of Seoul.
S.Korean sex workers demand rights