Korean sex slave ring busted

Twenty brothels posing as legitimate businesses from Connecticut to North Carolina were shut down,
31 people were arrested and more than 70 suspected Korean sex slaves were freed from a large human trafficking organization, officials said Wednesday.
The arrests Tuesday capped a 15-month probe that began when a Korean couple who owned and operated a chain of brothels in Queens tried to bribe an undercover New York City Police Department detective,
said Julie L. Myers, assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
She said it was disheartening to hear agents describe stories “of women who were promised a better life and instead held as sex slaves”
at brothels posing as massage parlors, health spas and acupuncture clinics in New York, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland and Rhode Island.

9 accused of involvement in global sex-trafficking ring

August 11, 2006
By David Bowermaster Seattle Times staff reporter

Nine people were arrested in South Seattle early Thursday in connection with their alleged involvement in an international sex-trafficking ring
that recruited prostitutes from several Asian countries and rotated them between brothels throughout the U.S.

The arrests were made during early-morning raids at five locations. Two were alleged brothels and one was an escort service run out of a private residence.
The other locations were the homes of two defendants.

Wiretaps employed from May 31 through Thursday indicate that at least 40 Asian prostitutes worked brief stints at the Seattle-area brothels.
Investigators said the women came from at least nine different countries,
including China, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
According to court documents, some of the women came to the U.S. on legitimate visas and never left;
some were transported in shipping containers.

Some Korean women arrived in British Columbia illegally,
and then were smuggled into the U.S. Others came to the U.S. on forged visas.

Three leaders of Asian brothels get prison terms

Three kingpins of local Asian brothels are heading to prison for their role in enterprises that brought
South Korean sex workers to Dallas from Seoul, Los Angeles and New York, among other locales.

Kyong "Jackie" Roberts, her husband, Sang Hyun Cho, and Mi Na Malcolm were sentenced to prison
terms ranging from 30 months to 10 years in federal hearings Monday and Tuesday.

The three were targets of an Aug. 12 raid on eight Asian spas that netted 42 sex workers.
The raids were part of an operation that found hundreds of women and millions of dollars in assets
at brothels in Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Woman gets 10 years in prostitution case

July 18, 2006, 9:15PM
A Korean woman who admitted making illegal immigrant women pay off their smuggling debt through prostitution was sentenced today to 10 years in prison.

Mi Na Malcolm, known as Sora, also was ordered to pay a $460,000 fine.
She must forfeit a 2006 BMW, a 2004 Lexus, more than $218,900 in cash and electronic equipment, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper said.

Alleged Brothel on Capitol Hill Raided; 2 Arrested

During that raid, 34-year-old Me Jung Kim was arrested for solicitation for prostitution.
Song Davis, 46, was also arrested for operating a business without a license. The building is in Davis' name.

Korean passports, cell phones, videotapes and financial documents were also seized during the second raid, the Voice reports.

San Francisco sex slavers plead guilty

In the United States, two women have pleaded guilty and forfeited more than a million dollars earned on the backs of Korean women working in San Francisco brothels.

Ten people have now pleaded guilty in connection with what the US Attorney's Office calls "Operation Gilded Cage."

Prosecutors alleged the operators of a brothel in downtown San Francisco staffed it with Korean illegal migrants indebted to brokers that smuggled the women to the city, for more than a decade.

2nd prostitution plea in wake of parlor raids

A second woman arrested in the April raids of 10 city massage parlors pleaded guilty Friday to prostitution.

Sol Mi Park, 31, of Bayside, N.Y., received a one-year suspended sentence in Waterbury Superior Court.

Park was one of 22 two women arrested on prostitution-related charges during the raids.
Eight other women were charged with interfering with police during searches.
Most said they spoke only Korean.

Mounties free women headed for sex slavery

VANCOUVER -- Six Korean women found near Osoyoos, B.C., last week were sobbing and grateful to
the RCMP after being told they would have been forced into prostitution in the U.S. to pay off their debt to their human traffickers.

Sex ring broken
Authorities have broken up what they think is a sex-slave ring with the discovery of six Korean women hiding
in the bush near the U.S. border near Osoyoos in the B.C. Interior. The women, in Canada on tourist visas, were
apparently headed for a brothel in Los Angeles.

Korean Prostitutes Threaten Visa Waiver

The U.S. Consul General to Seoul says Korean prostitutes who stay illegally in the U.S. are a major psychological barrier to a visa waiver for Korean visitors there.

Michael Kirby told reporters Thursday it does not help Korea’s efforts for a visa waiver if Korean women are uncovered every time there is a prostitution bust in the U.S.
Kirby said apart from decreasing the percentage of visa refusals, Korea must also cooperate in a system of joint law enforcement and ensure that Americans have a good impression of Koreans.

Kirby said on one occasion last year 100 Korean women were arrested on prostitution charges in a single day in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Korean women were also held in Connecticut, New York and Huston this year, he said, with Korean women forming a bigger part of the prostitution problem in the U.S, than those of any other nationality

The consul said many of the women are smuggled into the U.S. via Canada or Mexico, and some of them enter the country on forged visas.
Korean women pay between US$15,000 and 20,000 to traffickers and often see no option except prostitution to pay them off, he added.

Prostitution charged in Greenwood

As part of an investigation of a suspected organized-crime ring, Greenwood police this week arrested a woman at a massage parlor on a felony prostitution charge.

Xiaomei Tao, 54, Greenwood, was arrested Thursday night at Spa Envy, 1600 block of North Ind. 135. She was booked into the Johnson County Jail and remained in custody Friday under $3,000 bail.

In addition, Fishers police in April 2005 arrested a 48-year-old woman on a prostitution charge at Hong Kong Therapeutic Massage, operating from a home.
Plus, Shelbyville police that same month arrested two Korean women on prostitution charges; Indianapolis police assisted in that investigation.

Asian students lured into sex trade in New Zealand

May 29, 2006
HEN her parents returned home and left her alone in a foreign country, Korean student Suzie had to find a way to fend for herself.
She claimed she could barely make ends meet with her measly pay as a grocery-shop worker in Auckland, New Zealand.
Desperate for money, Suzie turned to prostitution.
The 19-year-old business student told The New Paper on Sunday: 'I tried to get part-time work, but the only job I could get was at an Asian grocery shop paying $180 per week.
'The money was not enough for my rent, which is $110 per week, and living expenses.'
Suzie is not the only cash-strapped foreign student turning to vice to make a quick buck.
Indeed, it's becoming a worrying trend as authorities cite growing numbers of foreign students who become prostitutes.
Suzie admits she has 'no-condom sex' with her clients if they are prepared to pay her more.

'Sex without condoms will cost the clients $30 to $50 more. Kiwi and European prostitutes usually will not entertain requests for 'no-condom sex'.'
She said her clients, mainly Caucasian men, prefer Asian prostitutes as most of them are 'younger, cheaper and prepared to do more'.
Dora, a 21-year-old Chinese prostitute, said: 'Men come to me because I am cheaper (than the local prostitutes), but I make money from charging extra for doing things that other sex workers dare not do like giving oral sex without condoms.

Relaxing rubdowns or exotic extras?

May 17, 2006 - An I-Team investigation into massage parlors
Massage parlors promise relaxing rub downs, but is that all that's going on behind closed doors? We've been looking into what's going on at massage parlors for three months now. We hired a private investigator and sent him in with a hidden camera. It didn't take long to find out about the "extra."
We sent "Anthony," a local private investigator, into the Airport Health Spa for his rub down. He says he knew from the get-go, this wasn't a regular massage "I was in my boxer shorts and she asked me if I wanted to take those off, and I said yes. And she came pretty close to touching my genitalia a few times."

A few minutes into the massage, he says, came the offer. "She asked me if I wanted the extra. I asked how much was the extra. She said it was $60 dollars for her to use her mouth."

We then sent our private eye over to the Magic Spa where he says, other than the price, things weren't much different. "She leaned over and whispered in my ear, 'would you like the extra?' I said, 'what's the extra and how much?' She had said for $60, she would use her hand and for $100, she would use her mouth."

We talked with a local dectetive about the massage parlors. He has been involved in dozens of stings throughout northwest Ohio. He says what goes on behind closed doors at these spas is anything but a massage. "The sky is the limit. One woman, more than one, just about any kind of act you can get, if you have enough money."

13abc's cameras were rolling back in 2002 as agents raided what was then the Rainbow healh spa. Federal investigators say the place was part of a multi-state operation involving a Korean-American prostitution ring and money laundering. The local detective told us, "Prostitution arrests aren't generally going to slow you down too much. We have several that we have closed down, then taken cameras out and filmed undercover officers going right back in the day after they were closed down. The reason they do it is it's so profitable." Many of the "girls" are from other countries, speak little English and are shuffled city to city.

Heavy Traffic?

A recent wave of prostitution arrests in Waterbury raises the specter of trafficking in Connecticut
by Adam Bulger - May 18, 2006
Late April was a feast for Connecticut sleaze-watchers. After a month-long undercover police investigation in
Waterbury, 10 massage parlors, which had names like
Hong Kong Spa, Tokyo Studio and Happy Oriental Salon,
and, keeping with the Asian theme, mostly employed Korean women, were raided simultaneously on April 27.
The local television news footage of the raids showed police leading Asian women in various states of undress
accessorized by handcuffs into squad cars. The next day, 33 employees and suspected clients were arraigned
in Waterbury Superior Court.

But some local experts say the female employees may not be criminals at all but rather victims of a crime.

News reports showed the women wearing hospital gowns or scrubs in court. And because only one interpreter
was available and many of the accused spoke little or no English, some critical matters concerning legal identity
were lost in translation. Waterbury´s paper, the Republican-American reported the bail commissioner´s
office was unable to create complete reports for some defendants, and couldn´t determine whether the women
were in the U.S. illegally, or if they were wanted on foreign criminal charges.

Asian spa arrests fuel debate on human trafficking

DALLAS - The women slept on carpets and Korean floor mats, stealing a few hours' rest before another day of turning $100 tricks in the shadows of Interstate 35.

Startled, they woke shortly before dawn as federal agents and Dallas police stormed inside. Dozens of South Koreans were arrested at eight Asian spas and shuttled to an immigration center a few miles away.

For the government, the raid marked a major victory in efforts to dismantle a nationwide network of South Korean brothels and brokers. For 42 women, it began a journey guided by questions at the moral center of U.S. policies governing human rights and human trafficking:

Were they common opportunists trading dignity for distant American dreams? If so, they would be returned to face uncertain futures in Seoul.

Or were they victims, prisoners of global flesh traders, trapped in a web of debts and threats? If so, they might stay in the United States for three years with the chance to become residents.

Over nine months, the cases would pit victims' advocates against federal immigration agents and spur Justice Department involvement on behalf of at least two detainees.

To date, 34 have been ordered home or are in deportation proceedings. Five have been identified as potential victims of trafficking. Three faced no immigration or criminal charges.

"At the end of the day, I thought we all felt pretty used," said Vanna Slaughter of Catholic Charities, a nonprofit group called in to help the women.

Slaughter and human-rights advocates nationally have become critical of government handling of trafficking cases under six-year-old legislation that offers refuge to forced-labor victims who cooperate with law enforcement.

Back home in Seoul, Hannah looks for work, keeps a secret
At a TGI Friday's restaurant, Hannah blends seamlessly with the crowd of young Korean urbanites.
Fur-lined jacket. Green Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. Dangling gold earrings. Perfect makeup.

The 24-year-old had returned to Korea a week earlier, sent home from Dallas, where she worked as a prostitute for three years.

Sex slaves or capitalists?

May 7, 2006
Arrest of 42 S. Korean women in Dallas brothel raids stirs debate on how trafficking laws used
The women slept on carpets and Korean floor mats, stealing a few hours' rest before another day of turning $100 tricks in the shadows of Interstate 35.

Startled, they woke shortly before dawn as federal agents and Dallas police stormed inside.
Dozens of South Koreans were arrested at eight Asian spas and shuttled to an immigration center a few miles away.

For the government, the raid marked a major victory in efforts to dismantle a nationwide network of South Korean brothels and brokers.
For 42 women, it began a journey guided by questions at the moral center of U.S. policies governing human rights and human trafficking:

Were they common opportunists trading dignity for distant American dreams?
If so, they would be returned to face uncertain futures in Seoul.

Or were they victims, prisoners of global flesh traders, trapped in a web of debts and threats?
If so, they might stay in the United States for three years with the chance to become residents.

Over nine months, the cases would pit victims' advocates against federal immigration agents and spur Justice Department involvement on behalf of at least two detainees.

The Dallas Morning News followed the women's journey over 6,000 miles from Korea to Dallas.
Most were lured by Internet sites, newspaper ads and word of mouth.
Five thousand dollars a month to work in Guam, one advertisement reads.
Seven thousand two hundred dollars monthly to work at a Los Angeles salon, claims another,
with guaranteed entrance to the "state government vocational school."
June, with a junior high education and job experience in manufacturing plants, came after borrowing money to become a hair designer.
She feared what the loan sharks might do to her family if she didn't repay her debt.
Some of the women traveled to America on visitor visas through California and New York.
Others crossed Canadian and Mexican borders, aided by a chain of brokers and smugglers.
"I believe it's the largest sex-trafficking racket out there," the human rights center's Mr. Coonan said.
He calls the Korean sex workers "the oldest sort of ethnic group" that operates like this.
In Dallas, they arrived at small shops off Interstate 35E with names like Tokyo, Ginja,
Jackpot and Pretty Women. It's a gritty industrial area dotted with small ethnic restaurants and shops.
Many ate, slept and worked in the same spaces and were charged extra for lodging, condoms and clothes.
Had any of them been kidnapped and forced into the trade? Who was deceived? Who was being held against their will?
"Consent is always the question. Did they consent initially, and did they continue to consent?" Mr. Coonan said.
"The women arrested for prostitution at the spas were not teenagers ?
most were mature women in their 30s," he said. "A clear majority were professional prostitutes who knew exactly what they were doing.

Madam's fall offers window into lucrative sex trade

Sunday, May 7, 2006
Kyong "Jackie" Roberts came to America as the Korean bride of a U.S. serviceman more than 20 years ago and climbed from dress shop owner to modeling studio proprietor to queen of Asian brothels.
Her last entrepreneurial efforts made her a 52-year-old Dallas millionaire.
But her empire tumbled in a matter of hours in an early morning raid last summer.
Virtually every asset she had amassed was either locked down or carted off by police and federal agents ?
including more than a dozen Korean women who had been smuggled into the U.S. as stock in her brothels.
The rise and fall of the Dallas madam through court records and interviews offer a rare glimpse into the lucrative underworld of international recruiters
and brothel owners who reap millions off indentured prostitutes.
Dozens of federal and state criminal indictments have followed, including charges of forced labor,
aggravated promotion of prostitution, engaging in organized crime, money laundering and illegal bulk cash shipments back to Korea.

In late 2004, ICE agents and Dallas vice officers found an informant with accurate, inside knowledge of how women were recruited in Korea to work in Dallas brothel.

For fees averaging $15,000 apiece, smugglers flew the women to Canada and Mexico,
then walked them over the border into the U.S.
Brothel owners operating as massage parlors, spas, baths, saunas, modeling studios or nightclubs assumed the women's smuggling debts,
often taking their passports as a guarantee that they would be paid back.

Ex-FBI agent in hot water over affair

Link to brothel manager leads to indictment
By J.J. STAMBAUGH, stambaugh@knews.com
April 28, 2006

A former FBI agent who was the scourge of corrupt sheriffs and drug kingpins across East Tennessee
for more than a decade was indicted Wednesday for allegedly having an affair with a Korean brothel
manager in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and concealing the relationship from his superiors.

Crisis center head says women being used for sex Tuesday

May 2, 2006
Women have been trafficked into Connecticut and forced into prostitution here, the head of the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services Inc. says.
Crisis centers on occasion have counseled victims of human trafficking in recent years, but ConnSACS Executive Director Nancy Kushins did not have any figures Monday on how many.
A police sweep in Waterbury last week raised questions about whether human traffickers might be running prostitution rings there.
City police swept up 51 Korean women in raids on 10 massage parlors -- a common cover for prostitution and frequent destination for trafficking victims.
Some were arrested on prostitution and other charges, and others were held for questioning.
"If they were trafficked from Korea, they might be concerned about the repercussions to family back home if they cooperate," Kushins said.

Four arrested in brothel scheme

April 14, 2006
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A Southern California woman was in custody in Texas on Wednesday on charges of
operating brothels in Dallas and the Los Angeles area using women smuggled into the country from South Korea and Mexico.

Jong Ock Mao, 47, of West Covina, was arrested Tuesday in Madisonville after a 40-count indictment was unsealed in Santa Ana federal court accusing her and three others of conspiracy,
money laundering and violating the Travel Act, a federal law that prohibits the use of interstate facilities to conduct illegal business.

Federal agents raided six businesses, including tanning salons, chiropractic offices and spas, that authorities said were fronts for brothels.
There were between three and 18 women working in each of brothels, and many were prostituting to pay off smuggling fees,
said Buckley Thomas, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigator.

Mao, the reported leader of the brothel operation, was ordered held in Houston on $150,000 bond
and authorities were working to extradite her to California, said customs spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

Authorities also were looking into possible immigration violations because Mao is a Korean national living in the United States without a green card, Kice said.

Authorities were working to seize more than $4 million in assets, including bank accounts, homes and four private motocross tracks in California, Texas and Florida owned by Mao.

The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation that resulted in last July's indictment of 24 people accused of smuggling South Korean women into the country and providing them to brothel operators.

A 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.

Couple pleads not guilty in sauna case

Promoting prostitution is alleged.
A couple charged with second-degree promoting prostitution pleaded not guilty Monday in Boone County Circuit Court.
Ok Hee Kim and her husband, Semsettin Gogebakan, were arrested Dec. 10 at VIP Sauna, a Columbia massage parlor at 5210 N. Missouri 763. Condoms,
paperwork and money were taken from the location, and two other people were arrested on suspicion of prostitution. All were released on bond.
Proceedings moved forward haltingly Monday as a Korean interpreter attempted to speak to both Kim and a noticeably frustrated Judge Gene Hamilton.
“Whatever’s said in the courtroom, you have to interpret at the time,” Hamilton told the interpreter at one point.
Gogebakan entered his not guilty plea after Kim and did not require an interpreter.

Guilty Plea For North Texas Sex Slave Trafficking

Each year, thousands of people are brought into the United States by human traffickers who trap illegal immigrants in what some call “modern day slavery.”
North Texas is one area where a major crackdown is now underway. Federal agents say they recently created a task force to deal with human trafficking.
In this case, smugglers brought the women to North Texas from South Korea.
On Friday afternoon, Mi Na Malcom<丶`∀´> admitted to being involved in a human trafficking and sex slavery ring. The case stems from a raid on area spas last August.
Prosecutors say Malcom held the immigrants against their will and forced them to work at one of her spas in order to pay off the smuggling fees,
and that she housed the women in the spas and used video surveillance.
Malcom has been forced to give up her 2006 BMW, 2004 Lexus and more than $200,000 in cash.

Trial of spa owners begins with conspiracy statements

In his opening statement Monday afternoon, assistant U.S. attorney Michael Iasparro said
the evidence would show that Lee and Hwang used interstate phone lines to further their prostitution businesses
and move money they obtained from the illegal acts taking place inside the health spas in violation of federal law.
“This is a case of money, greed, sex and even violence,” Iasparro said.
He said the spas made a staggering amount of money, upward of $2.5 million over three years,
from customers who came to Rockford after hearing about the services offered either by word-of-mouth or through newspaper advertisements.
At the center of this, he said, were Hwang and Lee.

Flynn said that his client is an East High School graduate who was known in the Korean community as someone who could speak English well and would often help non-English speakers get things done,
such as helping them with a building permit.

Park, who appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit, told the jury, through an interpreter,
that she worked for Hwang at the Paradise as a masseur and prostitute.
She said she came to Rockford from Los Angeles because she heard there was money to be made and
“the police, unlike other towns, tend not to bother us that much.”

Korean brothel allegedly protected by cops

Queens March 9, 2006
Two police officers were charged with protecting a Korean brothel in Queens where illegal aliens were employed.

Officials say the officers, assigned to the 109 Precinct, were arrested along with the owners of the second-floor business at 57-24 164th Street.
They were charged with giving protection to a Korean brothel for cash.
Eyewitness News has learned when federal authorities and local police made the arrest, they found 16 illegal aliens working inside.

Yesterday, the F.B.I., the police, the United States Attorney in Brooklyn and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents announced the
arrests of the two officers, Dennis Kim, 29(<丶`∀´> ),
and Jerry Svoronos, 30;
the woman and man accused of running the brothel, Gina Kim and Geeho Chae, both 37; and 16 young women believed to have worked there as prostitutes.

Woman arrested for offering sex at massage parlor March 05. 2006

A woman has been arrested for offering sex at a massage parlor to an undercover police officer in Williston, Vt.
Hae Ja Cho, who works at Harmony Spa, is facing a prohibited acts charge,
Williston Police Sgt. Bart Chamberlain said.

The 53-year-old South Korean immigrant, who said she worked and lived at Harmony Spa,
was convicted of prostitution related charges twice in 2001 in North Hempstead, N.H., Chamberlain said.
The police said she was living in the United States legally.
Hae Ja Cho faces possible deportation, Chamberlain said.

This is the second time the site of the Harmony Spa has been investigated for alleged prostitution.
In the past it was named ***Ginza Health Spa.

In 2004, the police arrested eight Asian women at three massage parlors that the police said smuggled Asian women into the United States and made them work as sex slaves.

Osaka Express, a Korean massage parlor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, march 2, 2006
Five women were arrested on sex and drug charges after their Korean massage parlor was raided in Maryland 12 years ago.
The case was closed three years later because the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute, said FBI Special Agent Michelle Crnkovich in Baltimore.

Now, one of the women from that raid more than a decade ago has resurfaced in Schererville and is being charged with nearly identical offenses in Hammond’s federal court.

The woman, Sun Cha Mack, used the name Sun Cha Thompson
when she was allegedly working in Maryland at Osaka Express, a Korean massage parlor where police said sex was being sold.

Korean Pride

Korean Pride. Korean Power. Especially at a place like Stanford, these phrases tend to be greeted with questioning glances. Even for those more familiar with the gang affiliations which these phrases represent, the images invoked tend to be of a rather harmless nature; baggy clothes, ghetto talk, and lowered Hondas with skyscraper spoilers and oversized mufflers. At its most extreme, Korean gangs are seen by some as being involved in the occasional fight involving fists, knives, or the more infrequently imagined gun. These stereotypes alone seem hard to swallow for a vast number of Koreans, especially when confronted with gang-affiliated children or friends. Unfortunately, they are also stereotypes that, in many respects, prove in many ways to be grossly tame and naive.

Ask Mu Yung Shin,* presently a prostitute at a Korean massage parlor in Dallas. Abducted at the age of 14 from her village home in South Korea by a group of Korean criminals, she was repeatedly raped, then sent to one of the infamous "sex farms" used by the South Korean army, where she was made a sex slave for two years. In the early nineties she was moved to the US legally through a sham marriage with an American GI and has served ever since as a Korean massage parlor prostitute in various locales stretching from Chicago and Houston to New York City.1

Mu Yung Shin is just one of several thousand Korean women abducted, raped, and virtually enslaved by the multimillion-dollar international prostitution network run by the Korean Killers, or KK. Korean Killers, and other major Korean gangs is the US such as Korean Power, based in New York, deal not only in prostitution, but in drug trafficking, extortion, and firebombings, mostly directed against the Korean community.

Take Tae Sook Lee,* a longtime member of the Korean Killers based in Los Angeles' Koreatown. With two accomplices, called his "enforcers," Tae would visit Korean businesses in the area, mostly car dealerships, and demand payments of money ranging from $30,000 to $50,000. If threats and intimidation failed to net him the money, arson would result. According to Ray Futami, a detective with the LAPD, "If they [Korean business owners] didn't pay, Tae would send in his boys, his enforcers, and they would burn cars and dealerships." Tae was finally apprehended in 1989 through information gained in the shooting death of Ha-Seung Lee, a sort of Koreatown "Godfather." In an ironic, and ultimately saddening twist, it was discovered Tae's parents themselves are the owners of several businesses in the Koreatown area.2

In 1993, five members of New York's Korean Power gang were arrested on charges of extortion from at least 100 Korean small businesses, using threats of physical pain or firebombings to keep their victims silent and obedient. These were not the actions of hardened criminals, but of Korean youths ranging in age from 16 to 23.3 Neither were these crimes rare aberrations. From Los Angeles to New York, prostitution and extortion are practiced on a daily basis by Koreans against Koreans.

Asking the question of "why" is in many ways a fruitless exercise; every community has its share of gang problems, and none have managed to fully understand, much less contain such actions. But a much more pressing question is reflected in the ignorance, skepticism, and silence that seem to be the stock response of the Korean community to the actions of Korean gangs. Why do so few Koreans hear or know of the problems, and why do fewer still choose to speak out about them?

The seeming inability of the Korean community to properly face up to its gang problems has had many damaging repercussions. Not only has it left multiple police investigations languishing due to lack of support and cooperation from the victims of these crimes, but it has created a culture of ignorance and denial within the community as a whole. When Korean-language media fails to report such stories, it only bolsters the individual Korean's vehement denials that the problems exist. When parents see children with cigarette burn scars on their arms and "Korean Pride" (another moniker used by multiple localized Korean gangs) caps atop their heads and fail to realize the full extent of the implications, it bespeaks of a breakdown in the idea of community. It has sacrificed the idea of honest, sometimes painful communication for the false salve of unqualified support. These attempts to provide support for the community's individual members, especially its children, have gone too far when, in doing so, they chose to ignore, and by turn exacerbate, gang problems which cannot simply be wished away.

Jump now to Washington D.C., where in a span of 18 months from 1985 to 1986 eleven Korean businesses were mysteriously firebombed. Though the investigation, handled by both local and federal authorities, first focused on tensions between Washington's Black and Korean communities, patterns and circumstances similar to Korean against Korean firebombings in Los Angeles and New York led investigators to suspect the work of a local Korean gang styling itself in the image of the better known KK and Korean Power gangs. Though the police had no firm evidence pointing to any specific Korean gang activity, several signs existed. All the businesses were Korean. The firebombings were all of a more threatening rather than destructive intent, unlike the heavy damage that would be more likely in racially motivated bombings. Except for the Korea Times building, the other businesses had no tell-tale outward signs of being Korean-owned. At the least, such evidence pointed to broadening the investigation to include the possibility of Korean gang activity. What investigators did not quite count on was the utter lack of cooperation given by the Korean community. One Korean business owner whose store was firebombed insisted that Koreans were "absolutely not" responsible for the firebombings and that any theories to the contrary were "without substance." The treasurer of the local Korean Businessman's Association was even more strident in his denial, saying that "there is no possibility, not even one percent" that Korean gangs might have anything to do with the string of firebombings. He insisted that the bombing resulted from "hostility against Koreans...Whenever I join some Black community meeting, I can feel some hostility exists there." 4

The Washington firebombings were not a case of casting guilt upon Korean gangs without firm evidence, as the forceful tone of the Korean response might suggest. The defensive nature of the Washington Korean community's reaction in not allowing even the slightest possibility of Korean gang involvement, indeed insisting that no Korean gangs existed at all in the Washington area, amply illustrates the dysfunctionality with which the Korean community has dealt with these issues. When the community cannot even ponder the idea that the firebombings were Korean in origin, even in the face of multiple similar incidents in Los Angeles and New York, there is more than a lack of communication or knowledge involved.

The Korean community has often been proven guilty of reverting to attitudes of programmed ignorance and instantaneous denial in the face of issues and events which have the power to reflect negatively on Koreans. An extreme form of the community's own extreme and unjustified sense of "Korean Pride," this knee-jerk tendency to react with unrationalized and vociferous denial in the face of issues which could lead to some sense of "communal shame" has unwittingly caused heavy damage to the community as a whole. The desire for Koreans to want to focus only on the academic and social achievements of their children while turning a blind eye to a thriving criminal counterculture has served as a major factor in the growth of Korean gang activity in the recent years. Without acknowledgment, the Korean gang problem can only get worse, and the Korean community will continue to be victim to its own suspension of reality.

Massage Parlor Employees Busted On Prostitution Charges

A local massage parlor could be shutting down for good after it became part of a crackdown by Denver police.
An undercover investigator went to the location in the 1800 block of South Parker Road and said he was propositioned.
That's when he called for additional officers.

Six women of Korean descent were taken into custody Tuesday night.
Two of them were arrested on charges of keeping a place of prostitution, two were arrested on charges of prostitution,
and two were detained on immigration violations.

Related Stories:
December 16, 2005: Owner, Worker At 'Health Spa' Arrested On Prostitution Charges
July 19, 2005: More Prostitutes Posing As Massage Therapists

Feb 8, 2006 Massage Parlor Employees Busted On Prostitution Charges

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Sex not needed to prove prostitution: Undercover cops liable to charges

By Fred P. Languido
The Freeman 01/29/2006

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City Chapter said undercover policemen who have sex with bargirls during police operations then later charge them for prostitution may be charged for violating Republic Act 9208 also known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

Gloria Dalawampu, one of the IBP officials, said some methods used by law enforcers in carrying out operations against establishments suspected of being fronts for prostitution are condemnable.

She pointed out that undercover policemen need not have sex with suspected prostitutes to prove the crime as the act of accepting a bar fine by the establishment's manager is already proof of prostitution. Customers pay a bar fine to take out a girl out of the club.

Section 11 of Republic Act 9208 penalizes any person who buys or engages the services of trafficked persons for prostitution. Those who are found guilty of this shall be meted with six months community service as may be determined by the court and fined P50,000 for the first offense.

The second offense merits a P100,000 fine and a year in jail, but public officials and employees, especially law enforcers, may be charged administratively and face dismissal from service if found guilty.

Dalawampu said she will sponsor a resolution during the next meeting of the IBP officials condemning the use of undercover policemen to have sex with the suspected prostitutes.

Based on records, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group conducted the last three operations against alleged prostitution dens.

Two weeks ago CIDG operatives raided Mr. Moon KTV in sitio Panagdait, barangay Mabolo, and arrested the two Korean owners, the floor manager and seven women who are allegedly prostitutes.

Sheriff Busts Suspected Sex Slave Operation

January 28, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Franklin County authorities think they may have stumbled upon what amounts to a sex slave operation in north Columbus, NewsChannel5 partner ONN reported.

Undercover officers who raided the Ocean Health Spa on Indianola Avenue arrested two women who worked there. From the outside, it looked like a massage parlor. But investigators said looks can be deceiving.

Chief Deputy Steve Martin called it a house of prostitution. He described how the operation generally worked.

“You walk in. You go in one of the rooms. You get a massage or a steam bath. And then there are tips that are involved. That has to do with sexual activity," Martin said.

Detectives said most of the women they find working in these places are Korean.
And investigators said the women are basically indentured servants who never get to leave places like this one.
"These ladies in here… they live, eat and sleep here," said Martin.

Task force targets human trafficking

January 7, 2006
Many women smuggled into the United States are forced to work in the sex trade to pay off debts incurred while being brought into the country.
The women and their families are threatened with physical harm unless the debts are paid.
The women were Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai immigrants.
They arrived at the house from Oakland, Seattle, West Virginia and New York.

PHOTO POLICE RAID: Women from Oakland, Seattle, West Virginia, New York and Rowland Heights are taken in Friday in Santa Ana.
They will be questioned to determine if they were victims of human trafficking.

Yang's Taxi Service and YJY Travel and Tour:

The indictment alleges that Young Joon Yang owned and operated an underground taxi service named Yang's Taxi, for the purpose of transporting prostitutes to and from airports and brothels in San Francisco, California.
The indictment also charges that Young Joon Yang owned and operated YJY Travel and Tour, and used it to purchase airline tickets for interstate travel for prostitutes working at various brothels
in San Francisco. Airline tickets to or from San Francisco, Oakland, Las Vegas, Dallas, New York, and Boston were allegedly purchased for Korean-speaking females in connection with this alleged conspiracy.
in order to conceal and disguise the proceeds of alien harboring and interstate transportation for prostitution,
Young Joon Yang, Hang Joe Yoon, Myong Su Ahn, and Nam Young Lee used various individuals to transfer the proceeds of the unlawful activity from the United States to Korea.
Separate arrests were made by CTU Los Angeles last night in connection with an alleged human smuggling scheme.
Twenty-three individuals were charged by complaint with conspiracy. The complaint alleges three objects to the conspiracy;
harboring illegal aliens for an immoral purpose (prostitution);
harboring and transporting illegal aliens; and violating the Travel Act, a federal statute that prohibits moving people across state lines for illegal sexual purposes, such as prostitution.

Separate arrests were made in Los Angeles last night in connection with an alleged human smuggling scheme. Twenty-three individuals were charged by complaint with conspiracy. The complaint alleges three objects to the conspiracy; harboring illegal aliens for an immoral purpose (prostitution); harboring and transporting illegal aliens; and violating the Travel Act, a federal statute that prohibits moving people across state lines for illegal sexual purposes, such as prostitution. The Los Angeles and San Francisco cases are separate, however, the enforcement actions were coordinated.

The individuals arrested last night will make begin to make their initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco today at 1:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Vadas. The following individuals are wanted by authorities and upon learning of the charges should turn themselves into authorities:

· Wu Sang Nah, aka Kang

· Sung Yong Kim, aka Nam, aka Mr. Kim, age 39

· Myong Su Ahn, aka Paula Lee, age 50,

· Nam Young Lee, age 38, and

· Fred A. Frazier, 50 of Fairfield, California

Hanoi police crack down on sex den

Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Hanoi police Monday raided a disguised karaoke house run by a Korean man,
catching four couples “in the act” and detaining five other suspects.
Twenty-one-year-old Pham Thi Hoa and her Korean husband owned the karaoke in Dong Da district,
which caters to regular Korean customers.
Besides normal services, the karaoke also offers sex.

Anti-prostitution effort targets pimps, johns

"Hi, sweetie," said Kim, the manager of the Korean-run club in downtown Washington.
The john, a tall man in his 50s, stepped inside. He wore a white shirt and sharply parted hair,
and he smelled as if he'd had a drink. "Look at his face ? very tired," Kim said as he went inside.
"Sad people come. Stress people.
This customer stay 30 minutes, then happy. Everybody happy."

Two arrested in prostitution bust

Weld County Sheriff's deputies arrested two Weld County women near Del Camino on Thursday in connection with federal and county investigations of prostitution.

Yong Cho Gates, 67, and Ok Hui Yu, 52, both lived in the Sun Health Spas, 10763 Turner Blvd. No. 2, near Del Camino in southwestern Weld, east of Longmont.

The women reportedly told investigators the spa charged $40 for a 30-minute massage and $60 for an hour-long massage. Yu said the price for prostitution was an additional $140.
She said she would keep $100 and give $40 to Gates.
Both women are Korean, but are legal U.S. residents, Caldwell said. Yu moved into the spa at the beginning of the month when she arrived from Boston.

Woman Enters Not Guilty Plea In Prostitution Charge

Kyung M. Jung, 46, of 4014 Sherman Ave., Fort Wayne, stood before Superior Court II Judge James Jarrette for an initial hearing.
Since Jung does not speak English, a Korean interpreter was contacted via Language Line Inc. to translate the hearing.
Jung also requested that she be allowed to go to Atlanta until her trial,
but when asked for a street address for the Atlanta residence, she told the court she would just stay here.

Jung was arrested for alleged prostitution at VIP The Office Spa at 3685 Lake City Highway, Warsaw, Oct. 12 during an undercover investigation conducted in Kosciusko County.

Prostitution investigation snares four Sheriff’s office

says VIP Sauna sells sex.
Semsettin Gogebakan, 45, and his wife, Ok Hee Kim, 44, both of 5210 N. Highway 763,
were arrested on suspicion of promoting prostitution and released from the Boone County Jail after each posted a bond of $4,500.
Soung Auk Kim, 44, of Flushing, N.Y., and Myeon Ok Kim, 33, of the streets of Columbia were arrested on suspicion of prostitution and released from jail after posting bonds of $500 each.

The only people in the business at the time of the search were those arrested, the detective said.
He added that Ok Hee Kim is an illegal alien of Korean descent and that her husband, who also has a home in Catonsville, Md., is a naturalized American citizen from Turkey.
The citizenship of the women arrested on suspicion of prostitution, also of Korean descent, is still under investigation, but Luntsford said, "Most likely they’re illegals."
Yong Min of Lacey, Wash., owns the property, public records show.


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