Mainland human trafficker trapped


 
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Issue 104, Page 1 & 3
Word count: 720
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A mainland woman has been freed after the Public Security Police (PSP) arrested two suspects who allegedly smuggled the victim into Macau and detained her to work as a prostitute.

PSP spokeswoman Koc Soi Leng said the 20-year-old victim reported to police on Monday afternoon after escaping from her captives. She claimed she had been controlled by two people to work in the illegal prostitution industry.

The victim said she met the 32-year-old male suspect, surnamed Chu, in her hometown Jiangsu city of China in mid-August. Chu allegedly said he could take her to work in Macau casinos to accompany customers while they gamble.

The mainland woman agreed to the offer and followed Chu to Zhuhai city where the victim was then allegedly given a counterfeit China Pass. All the personal details listed were forged expect for the photo.

Ms Koc said Chu smuggled the victim into Macau on September 4 and arranged for her to live in a hotel in the central area. At this time the male suspect told her she had to work as a prostitute.

Another 20-year-old female suspect, surnamed Meng, was already staying in the hotel room before the victim arrived.

Meng, Ms Koc said, allegedly said to the victim she needed to charge customers a rate of 800 patacas for the service, and she had to pass on her day’s earnings to Chu.

The two suspects also asked the victim to pay them 100,000 yuan for arranging her to come to work in Macau, or she would not be freed, Ms Koc said.

The mainland woman was detained in the hotel room in the past week to receive customers Chu arranged for her. Ms Koc said the suspects also forced the victim to consume illegal drugs.

The victim had told Chu that she wanted to go back to mainland China and did not want to work as prostitute anymore. The male suspect then scolded her and allegedly snatched HK$6,500 cash, a bank card and four phone cardss from her handbag.

Ms Koc said the victim remained in Macau because she was afraid of being beaten by Chu.

On Monday, the mainland woman claimed she was sick and wanted to leave the hotel for buying medicine. It was then that she called police for help.

The PSP then raided the hotel and arrested the two suspects.

Ms Koc said Chu had a Chinese passport and Meng was an illegal immigrant who had lived in Macau since 2006. They were both from Jilin city of China.

Police discovered fake documents in the room including five China Passes, one Chinese passport, one Macau arrival declaration form and one Chinese immigration stamp.

Ms Koc said the safebox in the hotel room also contained some drug apparatus.

After a body search, police also seized HK$70,000 cash, and the bank card and phone cards believed belonging to the victim.

Chu and Meng have been sent to the Public Prosecutions Office. They will be charged with robbery, control of prostitution and the possession of counterfeit documents.

As a means of combating the severe human trafficking issues which have been condemned by the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report in June, the Macau government last week responded by setting up a committee to tackle the problem.

Called ‘People Trafficking Dissuasion Measures Concern Committee’, it came in the form of an executive order signed by Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah.

As per the order, the committee will have a maximum of 12 members reflecting such portfolios as public security and administration as well as social affairs and culture.

The committee will be coordinated by the chief-of-cabinet of the Secretary for Security, Cheong Kuoc Va.

The main aim of the committee will be to analyse and study human trafficking from a local perspective, providing recommendations to relevant government departments as well as monitoring the activities of these departments.

The end result will be to assist in the prevention of human trafficking and the protection of victims.

Cooperation on an international and regional basis will also form part of the committee’s role.

Committee members will be appointed within the next two weeks.

The committee’s implementation comes as a result of criticism from the US authorities that Macau needed to do more to prevent and fight human trafficking particularly in the area of prostitution.

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