Police in Taiwan have uncovered a prostitution operation inside a spa in Kao-hsiung City.
According to local reports, on May 11 the San-min First Precinct Police dispatched a team of four inspectors to Chiu-ru Road. The police officers raided a spa that was suspected of being used as a front for illegal sexual services.
The four inspectors entered a private room on the second floor of the building and found a 52-year-old man having sexual intercourse with a 21-year-old woman. According to The China Times, the man, surnamed Ch’en, and the woman, surnamed Chu, having been caught in the act, had no choice but to confess their crime. Ch’en admitted to having paid NT$1,600 (around US$53) for sex services.
Then the police went to the third floor and found condoms hidden amid towels. When confronted with it, the manager of the spa, a 25-year-old man surnamed Chou, denied knowing what had happened between the masseuse and the client. He said that the only reason why there were condoms in the room was “because of fengshui, we use them to attract wealth.”
The police did not believe Chou’s excuse and arrested him on charges of ‘harming public morals’, while Ch’en and Chu were charged with violating the Social Order Protection Law.
Taiwan stopped licensing new brothels in 1974 and outlawed prostitution in 1997. However, prostitution continued to exist illegally, causing a backlash against sex workers who argued that the laws unfairly punished them while clients could walk away without being fined if caught by the police. In 2009 the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters estimated that 600,000 people were involved in the sex industry in Taiwan.
In 2011 the government amended the Social Order Protection Act to allow cities and counties to establish designated red light districts where prostitution is legal. Prostitution outside the zones is punished by a fine ranging from NT$1,500 to NT$30,000 that applies to both clients and the prostitutes.
In 2016 Hsu Tsung-li (許宗力), the incumbent President of the Judicial Yuan, told lawmakers during his confirmation hearings that he favoured legalizing prostitution to curb the illegal sex trade and prevent exploitation and abuse of sex workers from criminals.
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