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Men 'forced girls into prostitution'

TWO men who ran a fake model agency have gone on trial in Beijing charged with forcing girls into prostitution.

Hu Weidong, the owner, and Meng Zhibang, the talent scout of the Yuan Yuan Studio, have been charged with organizing prostitution and forcing teenagers to become sex workers, Beijing Youth Daily reported yesterday.

The scandal came to light after 19-year-old twins, identified as Qin Yun and Qin Qing, wrote to the director of the public security bureau in Beijing's Haidian District, saying the agency was engaged in prostitution and they had been forced to take part.

Hu and Meng had 100 girls working for the studio and each had had to have sex with Hu and Meng before being introduced to clients, the twins wrote in an open letter to Zhang Weigang, director of Haidian public security bureau, the report said.

The twins joined the agency in September 2007 after Meng persuaded them to work for the studio to realize their dreams of becoming film stars. Meng said he was vice chairman of the Beijing Model Association.

Hu promised them a bright future but told the twins and other girls that they should have sex with him and Meng, and that it was an unwritten rule in the industry.

The twins said some girls were brainwashed to help Hu and Meng shoot pornographic pictures and videos. They also said they had to act as escorts for wealthy clients and if they refused they were beaten. They met more than 20 clients in two months and had sex with seven of them.

The twins said they were told to ask the clients to pay their college tuition fees, from 10,000 yuan (US$1,460) to 30,000 yuan. They would then hand over half the money to Hu. Some girls could earn the studio 1 million yuan a year, according to another girl.

The trial was being heard in Haidian District People's Court in Beijing on Monday.


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