MALACCA • College girls as young as 19 years old have been offering sexual services at budget hotels in Malacca for anything between RM165 and RM300 (S$55 and S$100), said the police, who recently busted two such rackets in an undercover operation.
According to sources, officers posing as "clients" engaged in online conversations with pimps running the racket through chat application WeChat. They found that local, Thai and Vietnamese college students had been offering sexual services for some time through online bookings.
Their pimps were two brothers, allegedly related to a policeman.
Each session with a girl cost RM250 to RM300 for locals while foreigners were charged between RM165 and RM200.
The rendezvous points were often at budget hotels.
The state's police chief, Deputy Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din, said on Friday that he had called for special focus to be placed on cracking down on prostitution syndicates and illegal gambling outlets.
In a press conference at Banda Hilir police station, he disclosed that the police managed to rescue three college students, aged between 19 and 21 years, at a hotel in Ayer Keroh on Aug 26.
He said that the pimps, two brothers aged 24 and 26, were also arrested and are currently under remand.
"We have seized evidence, including condoms, at a hotel used as a base by the pimps involved," he said.
"Based on a preliminary probe, the prostitution ring has been active here for a month," he added.
Mr Ramli also said that in a follow-up crackdown at 1am on Tuesday, the police detained two men, aged 37 and 40 years, for forcing three foreign women aged between 25 and 29 into prostitution.
The second syndicate also used social media to promote sex services.
Mr Ramli said the victims were taken to a shelter in Johor and the police are now hunting for other syndicates.
Malacca's United Crime Prevention Association chairman R. A. Sharavana said that alleged involvement of college students in the flesh trade has been happening for some time now.
"We brought up the issue in our earlier meetings two years ago, but could not do much without evidence," he said.
"Now the police have gone undercover to detain the pimps, but the freelancers should also be stopped," he added.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK