Anti-organized crime cops yesterday busted two separate sex-syndicates, one a Mid-Levels based 24-hour “call center” for foreign prostitutes, and another in Tsim Sha Tsui, which advertised various vice establishments online.
According to Oriental Daily, the “call-center” was run from a luxury HK$70 million (almost US$9 million) apartment in the Mid-Levels by two elderly sisters, who were arrested on Tuesday evening.
The pair, aged 60 and 72, were accused of advertising sexual and massage services by expat women online via several websites, wrote the SCMP.
They controlled prostitutes from Russia, Eastern Europe, and South America and charged upwards of HK$7,000 (US$892) per session, according to Apple Daily.
The residential flat, in the Tavistock II building, is believed to have been used as a “24-hour call center” for the syndicate, which has been running for more than a year, according to the SCMP.
Officers confiscated more than HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) in cash at the property, Ming Pao wrote.
Five other women – three suspected prostitutes from Venezuela and Russia and two domestic workers – were also arrested as part of the operation, Ming Pao reported.
Meanwhile, officers yesterday also raided a commercial building in Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, detaining a couple accused of running an online vice ring, according to Oriental Daily.
Another man connected to the alleged syndicate, a computer technician, was also arrested in another building in Hung Hom, the outlet reported, while computers and tech equipment was seized.
Speaking to the the SCMP, Superintendent Simon Kwan King-pan said three suspects, aged between 44 and 46, were accused of running a website advertising dozens of vice establishments in various parts of the city, including massage parlours, brothels and bathhouses.
The raids marked the start of “Thunderbolt 18”, the annual three-month-long anti-organised-crime and triad activities joint operation by police from Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong.
According to police statistics, the force handled 1,789 triad-related cases last year, a 74 percent drop on 2016. Several large-scale anti-triad operations, including last year’s “Thunderbolt 17” resulted in the arrest of 5439 people in Hong Kong and the seizure of over HK$18 million (under US$2.3 million) of crime proceeds.