Hong Kong sex workers scared despite one killer’s arrest

March 19th, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by admin  

By Jaideep Sarin

Hong Kong, March 19 (IANS) Young women sex workers in Hong Kong live in terror even after the police arrested a “strongly-built” man of Pakistani-origin suspected in the murder of three of their four colleagues in the last one week. The sex workers held a protest Tuesday seeking protection from their clients.

The copycat murders of the sex workers, all of who ran individual ‘one-woman brothels’ that are legal here, over three days caused panic among them. And the police Tuesday visited each of the over 2,000 such one-woman brothels to check if any other sex worker had been killed.

The police also sought information about their clients so that the murders could be worked out.

The fear among the prostitutes is not because this man has been arrested for the suspected murder of three of them but because the police say he is not a suspect in the killing of the fourth sex worker in a commercial district Sunday.

“We are happy to know that the man has been arrested. But he is only a suspect in the first three cases. That means that a killer is still out there. Sex workers are still terrified,” said Elaine Lam Yee-ling, spokeswoman for Zi Teng, a support group for prostitutes.

The fourth woman murdered Sunday, Tam Sui-fong, 27, was killed in her apartment in North Point. The police believe the same man was not involved.

The earlier three murders were committed Saturday and Sunday in Tai Po and Yuen Long areas of the New Territories district. All victims were between 27 and 35. All of them were strangled.

“More arrests are likely,” said police senior superintendent Steve Li Wing-hong.

The Pakistani-origin suspect, who is unemployed and lives with his wife here, was caught from Macau city where he escaped Sunday after allegedly committing the crime. The police traced him after he was caught on CCTV cameras leaving the buildings where the sex workers were killed.

The man was nabbed after he called up his brother and fixed up a place to receive money to escape from Hong Kong. The police lured him into a trap after they traced his brother here.

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