Sunday, July 03, 2005

California busts up South Korea-centered sex trafficking ring

I will write more thoughts ons this later, but for now, here is the news: law enforcement agencies in California have broken up a human trafficking ring that moved sex workers, mostly or all from South Korea, in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Fifty arrests were made and 150 women are being questioned

According to the BBC, the women were working in brothels disguised as acupuncture clinics and massage parlors in Southern and Northern California. The women were reportedly charged $16,000 to be smuggled into the US and were working as prostitutes to repay that money to the ring organizers. Some of the women are believed to have entered the country through the Mexican and Canadian borders, while others used illegally obtained tourist visas.

US Attorney Debra Wong Yang is describing the recent move as an attempt to protect the women:
This type of criminal organization exploits the hopes and dreams of immigrants.
Tragically, prostitution involving desparate women from South Korea is nothing new. Some of the women end up doing this after their new life in America goes to hell, some willingly and purposefully go to the US to engage in this, and others are duped and coerced. Although Ms. Yang says that none of these women coerced, there were signs that some had been sexually abused.

I just hope the US authorities really do work toward what's in these women's best interests. In the meantime, it's nice to see law enforcement somewhere is not just paying lip service to cleaning up problems associated with prostitution, which will only fester as long as prostitution remains underground in an illegal-but-usually-tolerated state.

Related stories in the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times.


At 7/03/2005 10:24 AM, Anonymous Mark said...

If they think California is bad, wait until someone pulls their head out of the sand and checks out Columbia, Missouri! I swear the Korean ho population there is maybe 15% of the total.


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