Triad gang set up brothel: David Connett reports on a raid to break up an international prostitution ring

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The Independent Online
POLICE have broken up a brothel run by a Chinese 'triad' gang in central London. Women from south-east Asia were flown to Britain posing as tourists and forced to work in the brothel, which catered exclusively for Chinese men.

Leslie Ka Chun Chui, 21, of Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, pleaded guilty to living off immoral earnings at Marlborough Street magistrates' court yesterday. He was fined pounds 1,800 and ordered to pay costs.

Chui is described by police as a 'lieutenant' in the 14K triad crime gang, one of four such gangs operating across Britain.

He was arrested after a raid on a house in central London on Thursday by police and immigration officials. Seven women and a second man also arrested were still being questioned last night.

The raid followed a month-long observation of the six-bedroom house, with entrances in Porchester Terrace and Porchester Gardens, Bayswater. Men were charged pounds 100 for 75-minute sessions with a prostitute. Insp Theo Dawson, the officer in charge of the raid, said that after paying their money, the clients would go upstairs to a lounge where they would select a woman with whom to have sexual intercourse. 'For pounds 100 they would have a shower or a bath with the woman and then could have straight sex twice with her provided it was within the time limit. Anything further cost extra.'

The prostitutes, aged 18 to 21, were flown from Malaysia. Chui claimed 55 per cent of the money went to the prostitutes, but police say they found little evidence to support this. One officer described the conditions they worked under as 'little better than serfdom'. When arrested, Chui was carrying pounds 400 in cash, which he said were the night's takings. He claimed a further pounds 3,050 discovered in the building was his savings.

Chui, resident in England for 11 years, said the brothel had been operating for six months. Police said it opened from 6pm to 6am, catering for up to 20 customers a night. Insp Dawson said: 'It has been our general experience that where organised vice exists it is used to finance other crimes, including drugs.'

(Photograph omitted)