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Police raids free 15 girls from sex gang

POLICE in central China's Hubei Province have rescued 15 girls who had been forced into prostitution after raids on eight karaoke parlors in the provincial city of Wuhan on Wednesday.

Eighteen people were seized.

The raids followed the arrest of girl traffickers earlier in the province's Xiaogan City, today's Legal Daily reported.

This year 21 girls aged between 14 and 17 have been reported missing in Xiaogan's Xiaonan District.

After investigations, the police arrested nine people who had lured girls to hotels and in Wuhan by promising them jobs. They then forced the girls to follow their orders by taking nude pictures of them, raping them, signing fake labor contracts or beating them.

They later sold the girls for between 1,000 (US$146) and 2,000 yuan to karaoke parlors in Wuhan to work as prostitutes. Karaoke bar managers confiscated their cell phones.

Xiaogan police had earlier rescued 36 girls traded by the gang. Of them, six had been raped and another five had been permanently injured trying to escape.

Police said the gang has 45 members who were facing 108 charges, including 49 cases of human trafficking, four of robbery, six of rape and 49 of illegal detention.


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