Police have arrested Indonesian adult model Cynthiara Alona, whose 2-star hotel in Tangerang City, Banten was identified as a hotbed for prostitution.
Authorities raided the hotel, named Hotel Alona, on Tuesday night, following tips from residents living in the surrounding area. Dozens of hotel guests and employees were apprehended from the raid, during which authorities also confiscated a number of items, such as mobile phones and condoms.
Meanwhile Cynthiara, who was not present at the hotel during the raid, was arrested when she visited her staff at Jakarta Metro Police HQ on Wednesday.
Sentanu, chief of the neighborhood where the hotel is located, claimed that local residents often found used condoms scattered around the hotel throughout the day. He said that the hotel building was originally a kost (boarding house) until two years ago, adding that the management failed to show him an operational license when he requested one.
Jakarta Metro Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said in a press conference today that aside from Cynthiara, two other men were also charged for facilitating prostitution. Identified by their initials DA and AA, the men worked as the pimp and the hotel manager, respectively. Yusri said that the 35-year-old model agreed to operate a prostitution ring out of the hotel with the two men for economic reasons.
“Their motive is that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the occupancy was low, so that they [allow the prostitution to take place] to cover the hotel’s operational cost. This is what they did, by accepting [people] to commit obscene acts at their hotel so that they could keep the hotel afloat,” Yusri said.
According to Yusri, Hotel Alona had been facilitating for at least three months. In addition, Yusri said that the three suspects knew that illicit services with underage children were also offered at the hotel through MiChat, a messaging app that has been associated with online sex work in Indonesia.
At least 15 child sex workers aged between 14-16 have been taken to a shelter operated by the Integrated Center for Women and Children Empowerment office (P2TP2A).
The suspects have been charged with prostitution and facilitating obscene acts, which could see them imprisoned for up to 10 years and/or given a fine of up to IDR1 billion (US$69,377) if convicted.