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August 14, 2009

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12 detained as minor forced into prostitution

TWELVE members of a gang were detained for allegedly forcing a minor to provide sex services in a hair salon for nearly two months, Qingpu District police said yesterday.

More than 30 policemen on August 5 raided the unlicensed salon and several places where the suspects lived. Six men, including the salon boss, surnamed Yu, and six female workers in the salon were taken away by police.

The 16-year-old victim came to the city six months ago with her parents and got a low-paying job at a factory in Minhang District.

She got to know some of the alleged gang members through a friend nicknamed "Dingding," who promised her a better job in May.

Dingding took her to a motel and drugged her, police said.

The girl was then taken to a village in Qingpu. Her mobile phone was taken and she was locked in a guarded room, according to officers.

Two gang members raped the girl, who was also beaten brutally several times during the next two months, police said.

The girl was forced to receive "customers" five times a day. Each customer would pay 100 yuan (US$14.63) to 200 yuan for sex services and the girl was not allowed to keep any of the money.

The salon's staff helped keep an eye on the girl, police said.

"They took the girl to the salon almost every day without giving her a break," said an officer who requested anonymity.

The girl told police that she once tried to escape, but she was spotted on a street by a gang member, who brought her back.

"They threatened to sell me to Yunnan Province if I was caught escaping again," the girl told police.

The suspects were believed to have been involved in several gang fights, police said.

Police are still looking for Dingding and another suspect.

The girl from Henan Province was found and rescued by her parents on July 22. They told police later that day.

Police waited to raid the salon in order to collect information and evidence against the alleged gang members.


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