Prostitution case tycoon faces trial in Dongguan
Updated: 2015-05-28 07:48
By Zheng Caixiong in Dongguan, Guangdong(China Daily)
A well-known businessman charged with organizing prostitution and destroying evidence went on trial on Wednesday.
The indictment before Dongguan Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong province says Liang Yaohui, also known as Taizi Hui, or Prince Hui, and 47 of his employees arranged for more than 100 women to work in the sex trade at the Crown Prince Hotel in Huangjiang township, starting in April 2004.
Liang, 48, was chairman of the hotel, one of the major five-star properties in Dongguan, a city famous for its entertainment industry.
Liang allegedly set up 99 sauna rooms where illegal sex acts took place.
The hotel was closed when the Guangdong police launched a crackdown on prostitution after a report on the sex trade in the city was broadcast by China Central Television in February 2014.
More than 1,000 alleged prostitutes and clients, along with many others suspected of working in the illegal sex industry, were detained.
Dozens of police officers were removed from their posts and placed under investigation.
They allegedly acted as "protective umbrellas" for prostitution and were suspected of tipping off gangs.
Liang was detained on April 14 last year on suspicion of running a prostitution racket and destroying material evidence, according to Dongguan's bureau of public security.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Running sex trade operations is punishable by up to life imprisonment or even the death penalty in the most serious cases, and illegal earnings can be confiscated.
Entrepreneur Liang, a prominent figure in Dongguan, was said to have properties worth more than 2 billion yuan ($322.58 million).
In addition to operating hotels and sauna houses, he had business interests in the oil industry and other sectors.
He has given more than 56 million yuan ($9 million) to local charitable organizations, and has been named as one of the city's 10 most generous donors.
Liang was selected as a deputy to the National People's Congress in 2008, but was disqualified after he was detained last year.
The court has not yet delivered its verdict.
Ren Yue contributed to this story.
(China Daily 05/28/2015 page1)