Iskandar Puteri District Police headquarters in Johor, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

Malaysian police rescued 13 women from Vietnam and Indonesia late on Sunday night who were said to be victims of sexual exploitation by a gang in Johor.

The women, aged in their 20s and 30s, were found inside a modified shipping container which had been split into 12 rooms where they were forced to do sex work with customers.

Police from Bukit Aman’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smugglers (D7C) Division raided a location on the Tanjung Kupang Road in Gelang Patah, Johor just before midnight on February 17.

Eleven of the women came from Vietnam, while the other two were Indonesian, The China Press reported.

Police arrested a 45-year-old local man, who was believed to be the owner of the premises, plus two accomplices – another Malaysian and a Cambodian man – at the scene. Officers seized suspected revenue of 28,050 ringgit (US$6,888) in cash, two mobile phones, 107 condoms and a book noting daily transaction entries as evidence.

Two Indonesian men and two Bangladeshi men were also arrested for engaging in illicit sexual activities.

Preliminary inquiries found that the gang had been active in the area for four months, targeting constructions workers and offering sexual services as cheap as 80 ringgit (US$20) per transaction.

Those arrested were detained at the Iskandar Puteri District Police Headquarters, where they were faced inquiries about breaches of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Anti-Smugglers Act 2007 (Atipsom).

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