Simply Seattle by Andrew E. Larsen on Flickr
Americas, Asia and Pacific, Latest News, Trafficking / Slavery

USA: Twelve Korean women freed from sex trafficking ring, thirteen men charged for their involvement

Thirteen men from the Seattle area have been charged for their involvement in a sex trafficking ring. According to the Seattle Times, twelve South Korean women were rescued from the brothels and will be eligible for visas to remain in the U.S.  The charges suggest the men were aware they were complicit in profiteering from organised rape, stating ‘many of the members [of the sex-buying group] made comments that indicated they were aware these girls were more than likely trafficked and had little choice in choosing to work as prostitutes‘.

Trafficking and forced prostitution is a serious and prevalent problem that often exploits the most vulnerable and least integrated members of society.

Update – this post appeared in the Huffington Post on the 27th January – Were Sex Workers Caught Up in Recent Seattle Raid Really Being Trafficked? We will leave you to make a judgement.

From Reuters

Brothels, sex websites shuttered in Seattle-area prostitution bust

In the Seattle case, 12 brothels were closed and police discovered 12 women brought to the United States from South Korea. The women, brought here illegally or on visas that have expired, have been offered health and consular services.

The sex workers were forced to work as much as 14 hours per day in brothels in high-end apartments in the Seattle suburb Bellevue, the department said.

They also were routinely shuttled to various cities beyond Seattle, including places in California and New York, the department said.

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From the Seattle Times

Dozen arrested as large prostitution ring involving websites, Bellevue brothels shut down

Members of The League set up the site to advertise South Korean women after Zitars — who goes by the handle “Tahoe Ted” — decided to restrict the number of Asian sex workers on his site to avoid police notice, charging papers say.

Both websites worked with agencies that move women from city to city after they arrived in the U.S. and “bookers” who book appointments for the women, according to the charges.

Members of “The League,” who used anonymous handles instead of their real names, would regularly meet at local pubs or restaurants. Many times “the discussions were so graphic that patrons sitting at tables next to us would get up and leave or move to another table,” an undercover detective, who infiltrated the group, wrote in charging documents.

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Image: Simply Seattle by Andrew E. Larsen on Flickr