Man from Japan prostitution case taken into custody before trial

Sunday, October 19, 2008
Issue 501, Page 3
Word count: 335
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The 52-year-old man from Macau who allegedly conned two 18-year-old girls to work as prostitutes in Japan was taken into custody at the Macau Prison where he is now awaiting trial.

The initial investigation was completed at the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) yesterday and the suspect, surnamed Chan, has been given “the most stringent” coercive measure of being put in custody before the trial begins.

The suspect is charged with “organised human trafficking” and could face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty.

The prosecutor said there was “strong evidence” supporting the accusation and thus advised the judge to deprive the suspect’s freedom before the conviction, TDM Chinese news reported.

The 52-year-old man was arrested by the Judiciary Police (PJ) in Macau on October 16 after the two 18-year-old victims, who returned home from Tokyo the previous day, told police he posted a job advertisement in local newspapers in May and then deceived them saying they could earn 20,000 patacas to 30,000 patacas by “accompanying customers to sing in karaoke lounges in Japan.”

By contacting INTERPOL, the police force in Japan caught two Taiwanese people who allegedly detained the two girls in a house in Chiba Prefecture and forced them to work as prostitutes after they arrived in Tokyo on August 29.

Only until September 11 one of the girls accidentally got a mobile phone and sent a text to her mother in Macau who immediately reported to the PJ.

According to the MP, a prosecutor will only advise to the court that the suspect should be taken into custody when he deems other coercive measures such as providing a security deposit and prohibition of departing Macau “are not enough.”

However, custody is different from detention as the latter is not a coercive measure as thus the one who is being detained is not necessarily a suspect, the MP states.

Also, a suspect can be taken into custody for up to three years and six months, whilst detention is limited to 48 hours.

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