Ten Chinese women who were allegedly recruited as call center employees but ended up as sex workers in the Philippines were rescued from a prostitution den in Biñan City, Laguna on Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Danilo Mendoza, Biñan City chief of police, said they learned about the den from a Chinese woman who was allegedly forced to work there as well, according to reports.
After receiving the report, Mendoza’s team conducted surveillance operations to check if the woman’s allegation was true, he told radio station DZMM today.
During the operation, they noticed that Chinese-looking men who were usually chauffeured by drivers would arrive at the den at around 12 midnight and leave during the wee hours of the morning.
The house was located in Barangay (village) San Francisco near a casino where numerous Chinese nationals work. Mendoza said that the prostitution den catered to casino employees who would “book” the women online.
The women, who were aged between 25 and 33, were rescued by the police and staff of the city’s social welfare department at around 2am on Tuesday, reported The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Mendoza said the women were recruited from the Hainan and Jilin provinces and were promised that they would work in call centers in the Philippines.
The police also arrested a Chinese national named Chiun Lee from the prostitution den. Chiun, allegedly one of the women’s clients, rammed a patrol car owned by the police when he tried to escape during the victims’ rescue, reported Abante.
Mendoza said that the 10 women are now in the custody of a Chinese Filipino man who works as an interpreter for the police. Mendoza is now coordinating with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to determine how to handle the situation. He said he will also contact the Chinese embassy in Manila.
The police have yet to identify the people who operated the prostitution den.
Chinese workers in the Philippines have reportedly increased in the past few years, with many of them working in gaming companies where their language skills are needed.
In June, the BI announced that it canceled the work visas of hundreds of foreigners due to fraud. Many of those foreigners were Chinese. On Monday, the Department of Justice said that it will investigate reports that some BI staff are offering “escort facilitation services” to illegal Chinese workers, wherein officers would allegedly allow workers to breeze through immigration counters.