HONG KONG: Hong Kong police have shut down brothels operating in converted public toilets in a shopping mall, making dozens of arrests in raids on the operation run by triad crime gangs, reports said on Friday.
Prostitutes from mainland China were found in tiny “one-woman” brothels created from the toilets in a mostly vacant shopping mall in the outlying Yuen Long district, the South China Morning Post reported.
The cramped 150-square-foot (14 square meter) blocks on the second floor of the building doubled up as the prostitutes’ working and living space.
“I think it is the first time police have discovered public toilets turned into brothels,” Chief Insp. Law Kwok-hoi said according to the daily.
There were a total of seven brothels, some converted from empty shops or office space, and operators dealt only with regular customers, who had to give a secret code before being allowed in, the newspaper said.
“An initial investigation showed up to 100 customers visited the seven brothels each day,” Law said, adding that each were charged HK$250 ($32) for sex services.
Police said in a statement that they had arrested 51 women and 35 men aged between 17 and 72 in the two-day operation starting on Tuesday, which included raids on more than 20 other locations.