Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: iStock

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City arrested a Russian woman on Friday who was the alleged ringleader of a prostitution ring in the city. Police raided hotels in downtown districts 1 and 3 at the same time.

Four women from Ukraine and Russia were found having sex with local customers. Prokofeva Elena, 28, may be charged with “brokering sex services,” VN Express reported.

According to the sex workers, clients were charged VND6 million (US$258) per hour,  VND10 million ($431) for five hours and VND20 million ($862) a day. Elena allegedly brokered the deals.

She told authorities she had been running the ring for more than a month. She also admitted that she met young foreign women on social media and brought them to Vietnam to work as prostitutes.

She reportedly covered all the travel expenses and took a 50% commission from the women’s sex services. She is said to have amassed VND150 million from the business.

Official statistics suggest there were about 3,000 sex workers in Ho Chi Minh City. In Vietnam, sex workers are given a warning and hit with fines ranging from VND100,000 to 300,000 (US$4.26-US$12.78). Ringleaders and pimps, on the other hand, face jail time of between six months and five years.

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