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24 Thai tourists caught working as hostesses in Taipei bar

05/19/2024 05:45 PM
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CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only
CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Taipei police on Saturday arrested 24 female Thai tourists for working as hostesses and engaging in illegal activities at an underground bar in Zhongshan District, the police precinct in the district said in a statement Sunday.

The police also arrested five people involved in the operation, including the 29-year-old bar owner surnamed Chiang (蔣), and 17 customers, the statement said.

The 24 Thai women were fined an undisclosed amount in accordance with the Social Order Maintenance Act by the police and then transferred to a National Immigration Agency (NIA) special brigade in Taipei for repatriation to Thailand.

The cases of Chiang and the four employees were referred to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for further investigation, according to the statement, while the customers were questioned and then released.

The Zhongshan Police Precinct was alerted to the case after receiving a tip-off recently that a sex bar was operating in the basement of a building on Minsheng East Rd., the statement said.

It immediately formed a task force to collect evidence, and after investigating the case for several days, the task force found that the owner of the business had hired several Thai women to come to Taiwan on short-term visitor visas and work as bar hostesses, which entailed drinking with and engaging in intimate contact with customers.

The customers tipped them with "wristbands," which could then be converted into cash, according to the statement.

After obtaining evidence, the task force and the NIA brigade carried out a search Saturday morning and arrested the 24 Thai women, 17 customers, four employees and the bar owner involved in the case.

The task force also seized revenue of more than NT$410,000 (US$12,730), an accounting book, wireless electronic devices and remote access controls at the bar, and confiscated a marijuana cartridge, a ketamine cigarette, and other evidence from the employees.

(By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)

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