Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Police Apprehend Three South Korean Men Linked to Prostitution Ring at District 1 Restaurant
On Monday, authorities in Ho Chi Minh City confirmed the arrest of three South Korean men, Kim Tea Hyung (48), Cha Jinyoung (46), and Lee Hyun Jun (25), on allegations of operating a prostitution ring within a restaurant situated in District 1.
The arrests came after a targeted operation at the Gallery restaurant, located on Bui Thi Xuan Street, which took place on the night of July 19. During the raid, law enforcement apprehended 52 women who were reportedly offering sexual services to customers.
Investigations revealed that Kim and Cha had established the restaurant last year and had employed approximately 80 women to provide sex services to foreign customers, charging fees ranging from VND3-4 million (approximately US$126-170).
With Lee holding the position of general manager, the establishment featured 30 karaoke rooms and exclusively catered to foreign patrons, mainly South Koreans. The police have stated that these karaoke rooms were not legally registered with the authorities.
In addition to the South Korean nationals, Kim had also hired around 20 Vietnamese individuals as managers, staff, and guards.
The modus operandi of the prostitution ring involved the prostitutes accompanying customers, often to hotels or rented apartments.
Following the police operation, Cha attempted to evade capture and was found hiding in Can Tho City. When approached by authorities, he claimed to be waiting for an opportunity to return to his home country.
According to law enforcement, the three South Korean men, along with their Vietnamese accomplices, reportedly profited around VND4 billion from the illicit activities of the prostitution ring.
It is important to note that in Vietnam, sex work has long been regarded as a social issue, and engaging in pimping is considered a criminal offense.