Hong Kong brothels converted from toilets raided: Police have raided and shut down brothels converted from public toilets in a Hong Kong shopping mall, making dozens of arrests on the triad crime gang operation, according to reports.
“I think it is the first time police have discovered public toilets turned into brothels,” said Chief Inspector Law Kwok-hoi, according to the South China Morning Post.
Police found prostitutes from mainland China in the tiny one-woman brothels created from the toilets in the mostly vacant shopping mall in the Yuen Long district, said the daily.
The prostitutes both worked and lived in the cramped 14-square-metre blocks on the second floor of the building.
A total of seven brothels were found, some having been converted from empty shops or office space, and the operators dealt solely with regular customers, who had to give a secret code to be allowed inside, said reports.
“An initial investigation showed up to 100 customers visited the seven brothels each day,” said Mr Law. Each customer was charged HK$250 (US$32) for sex services.
Police arrested 51 women and 35 men between the ages of 17 and 72 in a two-day operation which included raids on more than 20 other locations.
One-quarter of the suspects arrested were believed to have connections to the triad gangs.
Police also seized a knife, metal pipes and a small amount of a drug believed to be ketamine in the raids.
The charges are related to breach of conditions of stay, extortions, and possession of illicit drugs, among others.
Police sources said the brothels had been operating for 10 months, according to the South China Morning Post report.
Though prostitution is legal in Hong Kong, soliciting and living off the earnings of prostitutes are criminal offences.