Police arrested a total of 99 suspected prostitutes from various countries in an anti-vice raid on a building in Mong Kok, the biggest operation of its kind in a single building in recent years, Apple Daily reports.
Police have been receiving complaints about prostitution activities at King Hing Building on Argyle Street since 2011.
After a series of investigations, police decided to raid the building at about 7 p.m. on Monday, with officers from the Special Duties Squad, Special Task Force, Anti-Triad Section, Police Tactical Unit and the Immigration Department joining the operation.
The raiding team conducted door-to-door searches in the 14-story building and forced themselves into some units where requests for entry were rejected.
The suspects, aged 18 to 33, were detained for contravening their conditions of stay. They included 59 from mainland China, 17 from Russia, two from Ukraine and one from Kazakhstan, among others. Two local menwho acted as lookouts, both aged 29, were also taken to the police station.
Twenty of those arrested were from Thailand, with seven of them found to be transgender women aged between 24 and 31.
According to the police, the flats in the building were subdivided into multiple rooms that served as one-woman brothels. They were open from noon to midnight.
A source said clients were charged from HK$400 to HK$800 for each service, the price depending on the nationality of the attendant. Each suspect served 15 patrons on average per day.
The entire operation could rake in as much as HK$260 million a year, with the syndicate controlling the business receiving a commission of up to HK$126,000 a month, the source said.
An inspector from the Mong Kok Police District said most of the suspects entered Hong Kong using a tourist visa and brought right away to the building to work.
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