Vietnam News

Three Ha Long pimps probed over elite cruise ship service

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday launched a criminal investigation against three pimps for brokering sexual services aboard cruise ships in world-famous Ha Long Bay.

Pham Duc Hung, 30, identified as ringleader, and accomplices Tran Van Giang, 33, and Hoang Ngoc Hai, 21, are being investigated for “brokering sexual services,” in what police deemed the first-ever cruise ship prostitution ring busted in Vietnam. Police have yet to confirm their arrest.

Investigators said Hung had hired 15 girls aged between 18 and 28, kept at a rental apartment in Ha Long of northern Quang Ninh Province.

Hung subsequently charged each customer between VND10 million and VND15 million ($432-$648) for a five-star sex cruise. Clients were asked to cover all further costs aboard the vessel.

Each girl received only VND1.2 million per session, with Hung pocketing the remainder.

Police earlier last month found Hung receiving $1,000 to arrange a sex cruise for three customers aboard a five-star ship in Ha Long Bay with 50 rooms, a swimming pool, bars, and a karaoke parlor.

On September 7, officers from the public security ministry and Quang Ninh police caught three girls offering sexual services onboard ship.

At the same time, officers raided Hung’s apartment and discovered three more girls engaged in promiscuous conduct.

‘Prosfessional ring’

Investigators said the apartment Hung had rented was initially disguised as a coffee shop.

At first, he distributed leaflets among karaoke parlors to recruit waitresses, then offered hopeful applicants VND500,000 per session to provide sexual services.

In total, 15 young girls entered Hung’s employ, all prohibited from going out or working elsewhere.

Eventually, Hung had hired Giang and Hai to help manage the operation. The trio would sit outside their apartment greeting tourists and offering sexual services. Customers were charged VND300,000-500,000 per 30-minute session. Each girl would receive VND120,000, with the rest going to the three pimps.

Hung told police many visitors to Ha Long had requested sex cruises.

An anonymous officer said it was the first time police had busted a prostitution ring at sea. The crackdown commenced with caution since the girls are prone to jump into the water to make their escape, he added.

Under Vietnamese law, prostitution is illegal. Sex workers are given warnings or fined VND100,000-300,000, with pimps facing jail time.

By Pham Du – – October 7, 2020

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