Taoyuan, Taiwan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nine migrant workers who were allegedly forced to engage in sex work were rescued by Taipei City police after the arrest of a mastermind and six associates in Taoyuan, Taiwan, while NT$5 million (US$163,709) in cash and cashier’s checks was seized.

Chen Qinglong, 43, the alleged mastermind, targeted female migrant workers from Southeast Asia whose contracts were about to end at industrial estates in Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan. Chen promised the women better-paid jobs, the China Times reported.

But Chen and his associates forced the women to become sex workers by first getting them addicted to drugs or threatening them with guns.

One of the victims, a Thai woman named Nataya, told the police that she visited Taiwan as a tourist and ended up being controlled by Chen after becoming addicted to amphetamines.

According to a Taiwan Apple Daily report, each sex transaction cost from NT$1,800 to $3,000 (US$59 to $98), with Chen and his associates taking 70 percent of the money but giving the women no free food or accommodation.

All nine women were said to “owe” Chen a debt of NT$100,000.

Chen and his accomplices were arrested for offenses against morality and human trafficking.

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