Cops Shatter Korean Human Trafficking Ring1
A federal grand jury handed down indictments on 30 August 2005 charging 24 persons for their role in a sophisticated human smuggling scheme that allegedly brought hundreds of South Korean women into the United States to work as prostitutes.
Named in the two multi-count indictments issued today are 23 individuals originally charged in the investigation and a 24th suspect who was identified following the take down of the case 30 June 2005. That individual, Mi Ae Kim, a.k.a. Ae-Kyeong Kim, age 48, allegedly owned and operated a brothel known as the 7th Spa.
During last month's enforcement operation, federal agents arrested 18 of the suspects. A 19th defendant, Hye Sun Sin, a.k.a. "Pink", was taken into custody earlier this week. The 26-year-old was arrested by ICE agents at an apartment on Rossmore Avenue in Los Angeles. The indictment alleges Sin operated two Internet sites that offered call girl services using undocumented Korean women as prostitutes. Five of the 24 defendants remain at large and are being sought by federal authorities.
The indictments issued charged the suspects with conspiracy. The three objects of the conspiracy are: importation of aliens to the United States for prostitution; transporting illegal aliens; harboring and concealing illegal aliens. In addition, the indictment includes new charges against several of the brothel operators for money laundering and illegal monetary transactions.
The indictments stem from a lengthy investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The investigation focused on a criminal network dubbed the Jung Organization that allegedly smuggled South Korean women into the United States and then provided the women to brothel operators.
The brothels were concealed behind businesses that purported to be massage parlors and "out-call service" operations. The prostitutes were allegedly managed by an underground network of Korean "taxi" services operated by members and associates of the Jung Organization. The "taxi" services coordinated the prostitutes' daily schedules and worked hand-in-hand with the brothel operators.
Affidavits filed in the case allege that the organization's ringleaders, Young Joon Jung and Ho Kyung Kim, oversaw efforts to recruit prospective prostitutes in South Korea and then arranged for them to be brought to the United States. Some of the women were smuggled into the country across the Mexican and Canadian borders. Others traveled to the United States on fraudulently obtained visitors' visas.
The women allegedly paid up to $16,000 each to be smuggled into the country. Once they arrived, the women were expected to work as prostitutes, with a portion of their earnings going to repay their smuggling debts. As part of the scheme, some of the women were allegedly transported to Northern California, Colorado, and Texas to work as prostitutes.
During last month's enforcement operation, ICE took 46 undocumented Korean women into custody who were working at brothels. The women have all been designated as material witnesses and will remain in the United States until the prosecution of the case is completed.
The search warrants executed by federal agents last month in connection with the case targeted 28 locations across the greater Los Angeles area. The sites included suspected brothels and so-called human smuggling "drop houses." The brothels themselves were housed in a variety of businesses, including chiropractic offices, acupuncture clinics, spas, and massage parlors. So far, authorities have seized more than $1.8 million in the investigation, including cash and checks recovered at the businesses and residences, as well as bank accounts.
The Los Angeles investigation is linked to an ongoing probe in San Francisco in which 29 people have been indicted. The charges in the San Francisco case include, bringing in and harboring aliens; money laundering conspiracy; conspiracy to transport female Korean nationals across state lines with intent to engage in prostitution; and conspiracy to use interstate communications by phone to engage in unlawful activity. Two of the defendants in San Francisco have also been charged with sex trafficking for knowingly using force, fraud or coercion to cause two women to engage in a commercial sex act.
Korean Prostitution in US on the Rise, Visa Waiver at Risk?
by ROBERT KOEHLER on AUGUST 31, 2009
in KOREAN DIASPORA, KOREAN TABLOID CRAP
The September issue of “Queen,” the Seoul Sinmun’s women’s magazine, reports that the image of Korean-American society in the United States is taking a hit because of an increase in the number of Korean prostitutes — entering the United States sans visa thanks to the visa waiver program — setting up shop in Migukland.
According to the story, businesses in the Korean communities of LA, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Edmond (?) and New Haven were busted by police for prostitution in July and August. In LA in early August, several score of Korean prostitutes using an Oriental medicine clinic, chiropractor, spa and specially renovated apartment were busted in police raids.
For example, one 37-year-old working girl at a spa in Edmond (?) was busted after she offered an undercover cop oral sex or vaginal sex as she massaged him. Oh, and she wasn’t wearing underwear.
In San Francisco in mid-July, about 10 Korean women were busted during a raid; most were young women in their late 20s who came to the United States without visas to engage in the, ahem, water trade.
Oh, and now there’s something called a “date line,” in which Johns call up the establishment owner to talk with registered girls in order to arrange meetings at hotels and apartments.
Particularly shocking — shocking, I tell you! — to Korean-American society was the discovery in May of a prostitution website based in LA’s Koreatown that had something like 7,000 members. The website not only had a section in which members could swap tales, but also had prostitute profiles, nude photos and even phone numbers.
(Note: the original magazine piece also notes that the website included male prostitutes, too, frequented by housewives and female professional types, for example, when their kids were at school)
According to the story, website members regularly met at a hotel to hold parties with invited working girls, with associated establishments providing girls with experience working in high-end room salons in Korea.
With the state of prostitution in the Korean-American community getting ugly stares from Americans, it’s having an effect on Korea, too. US immigration authorities have reportedly strengthened immigration screenings on Koreans (who don’t need visas to get into the United States), reentry screenings for ethnic Koreans have grown stricter, and officials have gotten more anal about visa documents.
With an estimated 60,000 Koreans illegally residing in Korea after entering the United States without a visa and overstaying, Korea’s continued participation in the visa waiver program has been put in jeopardy, too. Or so the magazine said.
Marmot’s Note: This is probably an English teacher-style hackjob on the US Korean community. But at least it’s an entertaining hackjob — English teacher pieces could probably do with less mention of drugs and more references to oral sex.
[퀸 9월호]미국 원정매춘 급증 낯 뜨겁네
미국 원정매춘의 증가로 재미 한인사회의 이미지가 추락하고 있다. 경제 악화로 생활고로 인한 성매매가 는 데다 미국에 무비자 입국으로 재미 한인타운에 원정매춘 온 직업여성들이 현지 경찰에 잇달아 적발된 데 따른 것이다.
지난 7, 8월 L.A, 샌프란시스코, 산타모니카, 에드몬드, 뉴헤이븐 등 재미 한인사회에서는 현지 경찰의 단속으로 여러 한인 매춘업소들이 적발됐다. 지난 8월 초순 L.A 지역에서는 위장된 한의원, 지압원, 스파, 불법 개조된 일반주택을 급습한 경찰에 의해 수십 명의 한인 매춘여성들이 체포됐다.
에드몬드 시의 한 스파에서 일해오던 이모(37)씨는 고객으로 가장한 수사관에게 마사지를 제공하면서 속옷도 입지 않은 것으로 드러났다. 마사지를 하면서 ‘오럴섹스나 직접적인 성관계를 가져도 좋다’고 매춘 제의를 했다가 경찰에 체포됐다.
지난 7월 하순 샌프란시스코 지역에서 대규모 성매매 업소 단속에서도 10여명의 한인 여성이 체포됐는데 대부분 20대 후반으로 무비자로 미국에 ‘원정 매춘’ 온 직업여성들로 파악됐다.
유선 상으로 성매매를 연결하는 ‘데이트 라인’이라는 변종 매춘의 존재도 드러났다. 손님이 업주에게 전화를 걸면 업소에 등록된 여성이 전화를 받고 아파트와 호텔 등지에서 은밀한 만남을 가지는 형태이다.
앞서 지난 5월에는 7천여 명의 한인이 회원으로 가입된 L.A 한인타운 기반의 성매매 알선 전문 웹사이트의 존재까지 알려져 한인사회에 큰 충격을 주었다. 이 웹사이트에는 매춘 체험담을 나눌 수 있는 코너 뿐 아니라 매춘여성들의 프로필과 누드사진 전화번호까지 실은 것으로 나타났다.
이 웹사이트의 회원들은 타운 호텔에서 정기모임을 열어 매춘여성을 초청해 환락파티마저 벌였으며, 연계된 매춘업소로부터 한국의 고급 룸살롱인 속칭 ‘텐프로’ ‘점오’ 업소에서 일하던 여성들을 공급받았던 것으로 드러났다.
이 같은 한인사회의 매춘 실태는 미국인들의 곱지 않은 시선을 받고 있는 가운데 한국에도 영향을 미치고 있다. 미국 당국이 최근 무비자로 입국하는 한국인의 입국심사를 강화하는 쪽으로 가닥을 잡아 한인들의 재입국 심사로 까다로워지고 각종 비자 서류에 대한 심사도 깐깐해졌다.
무비자로 입국한 뒤 기간이 지나도 출국하지 않은 한인 불법체류자가 6만 명으로 추산되는 가운데 한국의 무비자 미국 입국도 연장이 어려운 처지에 놓이게 됐다.
Queen 취재팀 황정호 기자 email@example.com
Easy money is the big draw
April 20, 2012 - 1:32am
By:Shaffiq Alkhatib Joyce Lim
PHOTO: ST File
Girls as young as 15 years old have called local escort agencies asking for work.
Agency owner Kurt Tay said: “I receive such calls from underage girls every few months or so and I will tell them that I’m not interested. I don’t want to break the law.”
It is an easy way for them to earn big bucks, said Mr Tay candidly.
“A client can fork out between $200 and $1,000 to spend an hour with any one of my girls."
A nightclub mamasan said men prefer young women, perceiving them as fresh and safer in terms of contracting diseases. Some men even told her they are willing to risk breaking the law by sleeping with a minor.
Anyone convicted of having paid sex with anyone under 18 can be jailed up to seven years and fined.