Two Chinese nationals have been arrested last week after it was discovered that they were allegedly operating a brothel largely servicing their compatriots in Makati City, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced yesterday.
Li Wu Tao and Zhang Lian Wei allegedly publicized the existence of the brothel by distributing lighters bearing their phone numbers, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. Their business was located on the 11th floor of a four-star hotel and had been operating for two years before the NBI raided the place on Jan. 15.
An undercover NBI agent, a Chinese national, called the number on the lighter and was told to proceed to the hotel, where he was met in the lobby by Zhang, who took him to the 11th floor, the Philippine Star reports. The agent then paid Li PHP9,000 (US$176) and the NBI arrived shortly thereafter to arrest the suspects.
The authorities, however, believe that Li and Zhang were not the only owners of the brothel, but rather part of a syndicate that operated the business.
Rescued during the raid were 22 Chinese women, aged 18 to 30 years old, who were allegedly trafficked into the sex trade. The women said that they were recruited from China and promised decent jobs in the Philippines, but ended up working as prostitutes upon their arrival in Makati.
They said they were forced by the suspects to entertain their clients at the hotel, and that sometimes their customers would also take them to their homes. The women will be brought to the Bureau of Immigration for possible deportation.
During the raid, authorities also seized boxes of condoms, sex toys, and menu cards listing the different sex services the women were offering, Manila Bulletin reports.
Last week’s raid was part of a larger crackdown targeting prostitution dens that cater to Chinese nationals working in the Philippines. Ten Chinese women were rescued from a prostitution den in Laguna in July, and in October, at least 100 Chinese prostitutes were discovered working in another Makati brothel.
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