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Published: Friday March 20, 2009 MYT 7:10:00 PM

Police nab 2,878 prostitutes; many are duped foreigners

KUALA LUMPUR: They came here after being promised well paid jobs but ended up being forced into prostitution by their agents.

Some of them were saved by the police and finally got to get back with their families although their dreams of working and earning money to support their families were shattered.

From 2008 until Mar 15, police saved 39 foreigners aged between 18 to 25-year-old, who had been forced into prostitution by their agents.

"Most of the women, in their 20s, had been duped by unscrupulous agents who promised them jobs as maids or in factories but they ended up working as prostitutes, drug traffickers or guest relation officers (GRO) in night clubs," Bukit Aman CID Director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin told reporters here Friday.

They were among the 12,070 prostitutes nabbed throughout the country in 2008. Out of that number, 8,949 were foreigners - China (4,496), Indonesia (1,389), Thailand (1049), Philippines (1,090) and Vietnam (512).

And from January to March 15, police arrested 2,878 prostitutes, out of which 2,144 were foreigners - China (1,030), Indonesia (387), Thailand (237), Vietnam (222) and the Philippines (188).

In most of the cases, victims were locked in a room after being brought into the country and forced into prostitution.

He said the victims who were brought into the country legally were also abused and injured while they were locked-up.

“Some of them were saved when we raided certain places and some were saved upon receiving information from the public,” he said in a press conference Friday.

In the latest incident, a victim was saved after a public alerted the police upon seeing a note thrown by the victim from the window of the condominium where she was locked-up.

Comm Bakri also said police were having difficulties solving certain cases and bringing culprits to court as the victims failed to assist police in their investigations.

The victims just want to return to their country, and in order to send them home fast, police have to conduct the investigation faster.

“They do not want to work with us. All they want is go back to their country,” he said adding that sometimes police lack information to charge the suspect in the court.

There is a new department to handle human trafficking cases known as the Anti-Trafficking In Person (ATIP) which was set up early last year.

Comm Bakri said the department in Bukit Aman is headed by a Deputy Supt of Police (DSP) and in contingent level are headed by Asst Supt of Police(ASP).

Meanwhile, Comm Bakri said that in 2008, police nabbed 12,070 prostitutes throughout the country.

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