Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sex workers from Southeast Asia increase, police say

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2005,Page 2
Taipei Times

The number of prostitutes from Southeast Asian countries is on the rise in Taiwan, while the number from China is on the decline as a result of the government's tighter controls, National Police Adminis-tration (NPA) officials reported yesterday.

NPA officials quoted tallies compiled by the top police office as indicating that 140 foreign nationals were apprehended in the first six months of this year for engaging in the illegal sex trade in Taiwan, up 83 from the year earlier level.

Of the 140 foreigners nabbed, Vietnamese, Cambodians and Indonesians topped the list, with their numbers totaling 56, 25 and 24, respectively.

According to NPA statistics, 41 foreign women were arrested for prostitution in Taiwan in 2002, and 45 were nabbed in 2003. The figure shot up to 152 last year.

Between Jan. 1, 2002 and June 30 this year, 156 Vietnamese women were arrested for prostitution in Taiwan, while 81 Thai women, 51 Indonesian women and 41 women from Cambodia were nabbed during the same period, according to the NPA tallies.

By comparison, NPA officials said, the number of women from China, Hong Kong or Macau arrested in Taiwan for prostitution in the first six months of this year totaled 667, representing a decline of 500, or 43 percent, from last year's figure for the same period.

NPA officials attributed the significant decline mainly to a series of "deterrent" measures taken by the government, including compulsory interviews upon arrival at Taiwan's airports for this group of Chinese citizens.

Meanwhile, only 36 women from China who managed to sneak into Taiwan with the help of very active "snakehead" human-trafficking rings were nabbed in the first six months of this year, down 206, or 85 percent, from the same period a year earlier, the officials said.


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