11 in court for sex industry case

Updated: 2015-02-07 07:33


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Eleven suspects stood trial between Wednesday and Friday on charges of organizing prostitution in Xinxiang of Central China's Henan province.

The defendants-including a major shareholder surnamed Chen of the Royal No. 1 Nightclub in Zhengzhou-were also accused in Xinxiang Intermediate People's Court of illegal operations and illegally harboring prostitutes.

Chen, 44, who used to hold 16.5 percent of Royal No. 1 Nightclub's shares, is the first defendant in the case, according to the public prosecutor. "Chen, who has no operating license for trading wine and cigarettes, is also charged with illegally selling wine and cigarettes to the nightclub for big profits," said the public prosecutor.

The court had not yet reached a verdict on Friday, after three days of trial. According to Chinese law, Chen could be sentenced to serve at least 10 years in prison if he was pronounced to have committed serious crimes of organizing prostitution.

On Nov 1, 2013, about 1,000 police officers from outside Zhengzhou raided the nightclub, which had been investigated for engaging in the illegal sex trade since it opened in August 2012.

A manager of the nightclub said it had more than 1,000 prostitutes when it opened, and the number later fell to 500. The manager also said the minimum income of the prostitutes in the nightclub reached 100,000 yuan ($16,010) per month.

The police detained and investigated a total of 256 suspects, including 133 who were later transferred to judicial departments for prosecution. A total of 50 suspects have been brought to court for trial so far.

Eight police officers, including Zhou Tingxin, former deputy chief of the public security bureau of Zhengzhou, were investigated over suspicions that they harbored the prostitution business of the nightclub.

Contact the writers at qixin@chinadaily.com.cn and zhengcaixiong@chinadaily.com.cn