Partitioned units inside tenement blocks in Hong Kong's Yuen Long district are usually used for prostitution. Photo: Google Maps

Seventy-five people were arrested, including eight transgenders from Thailand, in a police crackdown on vice syndicates in Hong Kong’s Yuen Long district on Thursday.

Coded Rushflow, a string of police raids in collaboration with the immigration department netted, among others, 16 women from mainland China as well as 34 women from Russia and Thailand aged between 19 and 37, according to the Sing Pao Daily.

The police operation, relying on tip-offs from undercover officers, targeted up to 72 subdivided flats in the district used for prostitution and a number of massage parlors.

Most of those arrested entered Hong Kong as tourists and were detained for contravening the conditions of their stay.

A police superintendent said eight locals were also arrested on suspicion of living off the earnings of prostitution, keeping a establishment used for vice, operating unlicensed massage parlors as well as drug possession. The eight Thai transgenders were registered as males on their passports.

Also seized as evidence was HK$380,000 in cash, towels, lubricants and condoms.

Triads and vice syndicates are known to congregate in Yuen Long and recruit women from mainland China or overseas and they provide them with partitioned units and even condoms for prostitution. These syndicates charge high rates of commission the earnings of the prostitutes.

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