JOHOR BAHRU – Enjoy the service first, pay later, that is one of the methods used by a prostitution syndicate here to lure their customers especially foreign nationals since 2018.
Nevertheless, with police intelligence, the activity was unearthed through raids under Ops Noda at five cheap hotels here, at 10.30 pm, on Aug 27 and at 5.30 pm on Sept 2 (yesterday).
State police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said 12 men and a local woman, aged 31 to 63 years, who were suspected to be the organisers of the activity, were detained.
Also detained were 21 women from Vietnam, Indonesia (nine) and Thailand (one), aged from 19 to 36 years, who were prostitutes.
The police also seized 15 cell phones, 125 condoms, seven hotel access cards, two tubes of lubricants, one bottle of massage oil, eight towels, eight rolls of tissue papers and cash RM1,670.
“The prostitution activity operated for 24 hours a day, seven days a week and was said to have imposed payments of between RM190 and RM650 depending on the package offered,’’ he told a media conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters, Sept 3.
Acording to Ayob Khan, to attract clients, numerous methods were used by the suspects including promoting the photographs of the prostitutes through the Wechat, Michat and WhatsApp applications and showing the pictures of the prostitutes via telephones to customers passing to and fro in front of the premises.
In addition, the syndicate also provided prostitute delivery services for delivery rates of between RM20 to RM50 depending on the distance.
“The syndicate was also found to be providing 555 note books to enable the clients to fore-go payment to secure a prostitute’s service and settling it later. Most of the clients were foreign nationals and the activities hiked on weekends,” he said.
On the prostitutes nabbed, Ayob Khan said some of them had valid social visit passes while the rest had expired visit passes or had entered the country illegally.
“We are still conducting investigations to determine if the syndicate is also carrying out the activity outside of Johor including Singapore,” he said.
All those detained would be remanded for a week for investigations under Section 372 and 373 of the Penal Code, Rule 39(B) Immigration Regulations 1959/63 and Section 6(1) © and Section 15 (1) © of the Immigration Act 1959/63.
Ayob Khan said the police had detained 1,788 individuals including 1,019 foreigners through 337 operations under Ops Noda since January 1 until Aug 31 this year.
Meanwhile, he said, local authorities should work with the police to combat prostitutions at cheap hotels in the state.