Guangdong authorities continue fight against prostitution

Updated: 2014-03-25 23:55

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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Police across Guangdong province will sustain their fight against prostitution and related crimes over the following months after a crackdown initiated in early February resulted in more than 800 arrests, a senior officer said.

"Guangdong police have busted 62 criminal gangs that were organizing prostitution rings and arrested 865 suspects after the crackdown was launched on Feb 9 when China Central Television exposed rampant prostitution activity in Dongguan," said Zheng Dong, deputy director-general of the Guangdong provincial department of public security.

The arrested suspects include 541 operators and organizers of prostitution. Zheng also told a news conference in the provincial capital of Guangzhou on Tuesday that 2,925 hotels, sauna houses and massage centers as well as 854 pornographic websites that were investigated for their alleged involvement in prostitution have been ordered to shut down.

One reason for continuing the campaign is to prevent any resurgence in prostitution from occurring, he said.

He admitted that fighting prostitution is a tough and long-term task for police across the province that borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

To help root out prostitution, Zheng Zehui, director of the social security bureau under Guangdong provincial department of public security, said his bureau has drafted new rules and regulations to standardize the operation of massage centers, sauna houses and related entertainment venues.

The draft rules and regulations, which will be submitted to the executive conference of Guangdong provincial government for approval, illegalize the use of VIP rooms in massage centers, sauna houses and entertainment venues.

Li Zhonghua, deputy secretary of the Party discipline inspection commission under Guangdong provincial department of public security, said 36 police officers have been investigated for acting as "protective umbrellas" for prostitution and secretly tipping off gangs since the special crackdown was launched.

The officers under investigation include Yan Xiaokang, deputy mayor of Dongguan and director of Dongguan bureau of public security. Yan was removed from his post last month.

"Yan was investigated for his responsibility in prostitution in Dongguan over the years," said Li, who did not reveal details into Yan's case.

"All officials will be investigated and punished if they were involved in prostitution or proven guilty," Li said.

Zhang Yiri, an associate professor from Guangzhou City Polytechnic, said it was difficult to completely eliminate prostitution from Dongguan, a city known for its sex industry.

"But continuous efforts in fighting against the underground sex trade would help improve the city's image at home and abroad," Zhang said. "Police should continue to redouble their efforts to investigate underground prostitution at the city's hotels, sauna houses, massage centers and related entertainment venues in the future."