Chinese prostitution ring busted in Italy

July 5th, 2012 - 5:40 am ICT by IANS  

Rome, July 4 (IANS/AKI) Dozens of Chinese migrants were arrested and thousands searched throughout Italy Wednesday on suspicion of forcing women into prostitution.

Centred in Prato city with arrests and checks also in other parts of Italy, “Operation Dragon” seized 85 apartments believed to be used by the Chinese prostitution ring.

At least 50 people were arrested and 2,750 suspects questioned. It was, however, not clear whether all of them were Chinese.

Investigators say massage centres run by the Chinese were used as brothels.

Customers were attracted through call centres and announcements in local newspapers.

With a registered population of about 12,000, out of the city’s total population of 210,000, Prato has Italy’s second-largest Chinese population after Milan.

Most of the prostitutes came to Italy from China’s southeast province of Zhejiang. They arrived in Italy legally but remained after the expiration of their visas.

Other crimes committed by the ring included manufacture of counterfeit clothing and gambling.

–IANS/AKI
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