HCM CITY — Prostitution rings in HCM City are being run on a larger scale and under different guises, requiring greater efforts to tackle the problem, a senior city official said on Thursday.
Internet and mobile phones are being used to advertise both female and male prostitution services, and even short video clips are made available, said Le Minh Tri, deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee.
Tri told a conference held to discuss the city's anti-prostitution plans for the 2011-2015 period that the municipal administration has directed the Department of Public Security to strengthen examinations and work out measures to deal with the problem.
He said male and female prostitution for homosexual as well as heterosexual sex, the involvement of foreigners and the trend of travelling abroad for prostitution work was increasing.
Service businesses that are used as fronts for brothels include massage parlours, barbershops, coffee shops, hotels, restaurants and karaoke parlours, he said, adding such establishments will be closely checked.
The city has identified 54 major streets where such businesses are concentrated. In District 1, these include Ngo Van Nam, Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Nguyen Binh Khiem streets.
Since 2002, the police have busted 1,200 prostitution rings, arrested more than 10,600 people, including more than 3,700 prostitutes and 1,900 pimps, he said.
The city has 25,000 service establishments which employ more than 20,000 female workers, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. These include around 90 discotheques, 3,000 hotels and 13,000 massage parlours, hair salons and coffee shops. — VNS