Sex traffickers held Southeast Asian women captive in South Korea

Photo by Korean Herlad/Asia News Neetwork.

Sex traffickers held four Southeast Asian women captive on South Korea‘s Jeju Island. Jeju provincial police said they arrested four subjects who allegedly held the women, The Korean Herald and Asia News Network reported yesterday.

The suspects included a Korean bar owner in his 40s, his Chinese wife, and two other accomplices. The suspects were sent to the prosecutor’s office.

The victims arrived in South Korea in November last year for work, after an immigration broker allegedly deceived them. The broker allegedly promised the victims jobs as restaurant servers on Jeju Island.

However, the victims were kept in a basement studio located 1 kilometre away from the bar, where they were sexually exploited. One of the accomplices reportedly lived with them to monitor them around the clock.

The four women were rescued after one of the victims managed to escape during the daytime on March 4 when everyone was asleep. She sought help from the police, who later transferred the victims to a shelter.

The suspects allegedly ran their business with the main entrance closed and the lights turned off to evade detection. Customers were required to make reservations for sexual services.

The immigration broker had already left the country before the case was reported to the police. An officer said that Korean police have sought Interpol’s help in locating the broker. Embassy officials from the relevant countries have also visited Jeju Island to investigate the case.

This news comes after a South Korean human trafficking leader was arrested in Pattaya on February 21.

The South Korean criminal boss, identified as 50 year old Cho, was arrested at a luxury condominium on Pattaya Sai Sam Road. The arrest was made after a complaint was filed by three Thai women in 2019. Better late than never.

According to a report by the Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau Division 3, three Thai women told police they saw a massage parlour job advertisement on Facebook. The agency offered to pay all travelling expenses for those who applied for the position, so they accepted the offer. However, upon arriving in South Korea, their passports were seized, and they were forced to work as prostitutes by the massage parlour owner, Cho.

Last month, it was reported that a South Korean employer was arrested for concealing the death of an illegal Thai worker and leaving his dead body on a mountain.

World News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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