JOHOR BARU: They use social media to entice customers to pick the girls they want and even offer “credit facilities” to regular customers.
Their fees are usually between RM190 and RM650 depending on the packages the customers book, and they can have their pleasures in special rooms at budget hotels or have the girls sent to the customer’s location for a “small” transport fee of RM20 to RM50.
Police uncovered this syndicate when they arrested 13 key members along with 31 prostitutes in a series of raids on five budget hotels in the city here.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the prostitution ring used Wechat, Michat and WhatsApp to promote women from Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
“They operate around the clock and charge between RM190 and RM650, ” he said, adding that the syndicate had been operating since 2018.
He said the arrests started on Aug 27 when a team of officers from Bukit Aman along with the Johor police arrested eight local syndicate members and picked up 12 women – nine Indonesians and three Vietnamese.
“On Sept 2, we raided a few more hotels and arrested five syndicate members, including a woman, and 19 other women, 18 of whom are Vietnamese and one Thai, ” he said during a press conference here.
All the suspects, aged between 19 and 63, have since been remanded for investigations.
Police also seized an array of items such as condoms, mobile phones, cash, massage oil and lubricants in the raids.
Police are now liaising with their counterparts in other states and in Singapore to ascertain if the syndicate has links outside Johor.
Comm Ayob urged local councils to carry out inspections at all budget hotels in the city to check if rooms had been modified for vice.
For the first eight months of this year, police had carried out 337 raids under Ops Noda and arrested more than 1,780 people, comprising 768 locals and 1,019 foreigners.
Comm Ayob said all the 898 women arrested were from China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Korea.
He urged those with information on such activities to contact the Johor police hotline at 07-225 4074.
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