|| News: |
US cracks South Korean sex trafficking ring|
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A sex trafficking
ring that smuggled South Korean women into the United State to work as
prostitutes in cities including the nation's capital has been cracked
and 31 people arrested, officials said on Wednesday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said another 70 women were being
questioned to see if they were victims of the ring that shuttled
prostitutes among brothels in places such as Washington, Philadelphia
and New York.
Prosecutors said ring members gave South Korean
women who wanted to work in the United States false immigration
documents to enter the United States, or smuggled them into the country
through Canada or Mexico.
By the time the women arrived in the United States they owed the
traffickers tens of thousands of dollars, which they were forced to pay
off by working as prostitutes.
"Human traffickers profit by
turning dreams into nightmares. These women sought a better life in
America and found instead forced prostitution and misery," U.S.
Attorney Michael Garcia told a news conference in New York.
exploitation is not a back alley business -- it happens on Main Street
in Stamford, Connecticut, it happens in residential areas of our
nation's capital, it happens in the West 20s (streets) of New York
City," he said.
The arrests were made in at least nine states on Tuesday following raids on at least 19 brothels.
owners and managers kept most of the money paid by customers and
credited the rest against the women's debts, authorities said.
"The women are in some instances told or led to believe that, if
they leave the prostitution business before paying off their debts,
they will suffer a range of harms," they said in a criminal complaint.
"The women are sometimes threatened with harm to their families in Korea."
investigations have quadrupled in recent years and the value of assets
seized rose to $27 million in 2005 from almost zero in 2003, said Julie
Myers, an assistant secretary of Homeland Security.
A 2005 U.S. State Department report found that up to 800,000 people are trafficked internationally each year.
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Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
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