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11 held over sordid case of abduction

ELEVEN suspects from Shanghai and northwestern China's Shaanxi Province were in custody over the abduction of three young women who were forced into prostitution, Jiading District police said yesterday.

The three young Shaanxi victims, a 19-year-old and two 18-year-olds, boarded a train back to Shaanxi's capital of Xi'an last Wednesday, after a nightmare month that included rape, nude photo shoots, drugs and forced prostitution, police said.

On June 24, two patrolling officers spotted a woman with unkempt hair and clothes near Bole Road and Yecheng Road. The 19-year-old nervously told police she was abducted from Xi'an more than 10 days earlier and was forced to work as a prostitute in a small hair salon.

"She said she managed to escape from the salon early that morning," said Hu Ping, one of the patrolling officers. "She ran along a nearby expressway for two hours, as she didn't know where to go."

The victim later told police she was taken by a male acquaintance from her home to a provincial hotel, where the man and others gang raped her.

The suspects later took naked photos of her and ordered her to work for them in Shanghai for a month.

"They said if she didn't cooperate they would post nude photos of her online, send the photos to her home and drop her in a river," said Shen Shiying, a Jiading police officer.

In fear of disgracing her family, the victim agreed and arrived in Shanghai in early June with another 18-year-old abducted from Shaanxi's Weinan City.

The other 18-year-old, also from Weinan, was brought to Shanghai on a different train.

The victims were sold to two small hair salons for a total of nearly 20,000 yuan (US$2,927).

The 19-year-old told police she was watched almost constantly and escaped when the first opportunity arose.

Police seized five suspects in the Shanghai hair salons on June 25 and six in Xi'an City on June 28.


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