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August 30, 2011

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Prostitution gang used chat room; 100 arrested

CITY police yesterday announced the bust of a gang organizing prostitution via Internet chat room.

Officers with Putuo District said police in Shanghai and in the southwestern city of Chongqing had nabbed more than 100 people involved in the case and 30 major suspects have been detained. Included were prostitutes, their drivers and organizers.

Putuo District police grew suspicious in mid-May when officers found a woman was constantly using hotel rooms. Li Suping registered at various hotels or inns 33 times in just 10 days from May 12 to May 21, police said, adding each time she was with different men.

"That really alerted us," said Xue Limin, an officer on the investigation team.

Officers soon questioned two men whose names they found on the hotel registration books with Li, finding it was organized prostitution. The men told police they got access to the service via online chat software from which they would receive prostitution ads.

Police in June linked the Shanghai operation to one in Chongqing. A major organizer, Tian Ke, said he mainly operated and hired women in Chongqing while his brother Tian Lin worked in Shanghai. The brothers were among those arrested.

They hired people to advertise for them online and took half the income for themselves, police said.

The gang grabbed more than 800,000 yuan (US$125,381) in total revenue from the illegal business, police said.


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