Jalan Penang in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

Five Indonesian men were arrested during an official raid on a hotel in Penang on Monday night – for allegedly offering same-sex transactions.

After two weeks of surveillance and intelligence work, officers from the Penang Immigration raided the hotel on Jalan Penang at around 10pm on April 8. The five alleged sex workers, aged between 20 and 30, who were traveling on tourist visas from Indonesia, were arrested, the Nanyang Siang Pau (Malaysia) reported.

One of the suspects was in the middle of offering sex to a client at the time of the raid. The authorities confiscated condoms, lubricant, sex toys and 3,500 ringgit (US$855) in cash.

Preliminary inquiries found that the five advertised and attracted other men for sex through social media. They allegedly charged from 150 ringgit up to 250 ringgit (US$36-$60) an hour.

The suspects frequently entered the country legally and would stay for a week or two, officials said, depending on the bookings they received from clients. They would then go back to Indonesia.

The five would come again whenever they got enough new bookings, which were conducted through a special application or website.

All the suspects have been detained while the case is being investigated under Immigration Rule 1966 and Immigration Act 1959/63 in regard to entering Malaysia with a valid pass but “conducting immoral activities”.

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