This residential block between Kangding Road and Guilin Road has been notorious for housing foreign sex workers. Photo: Google Maps

More than 20 women from Southeast Asia were arrested in Taiwan this month on prostitution charges.

Taipei City authorities have been cracking down on prostitution, which many say is getting out of control. Foreign women from Southeast Asia, working for syndicates, go to Taiwan visa-free thanks to the country’s New Southbound Policy. During their short-term stay, they have customers around the clock in budget hotels or residential blocks, The Liberty Times reported.

Some residential buildings along Kangding Road in Wanhua district, which has long been notorious for budget sexual services, were recently filled with sex workers dressed in a provocative manner standing on the streets soliciting customers.

Officers from the Wanhua Taipei City Government Police Bureau have been staging random raids between April 12 and 26 and made a total of 22 arrests. The women included 10 from mainland China, one from Thailand and five from Vietnam.

Street prostitutes were charging NT$2,000 (US$65) for a 15-minute session, cheap by local standards. Despite the visa-free deal being shortened to 14-day stays from one month, the prostitution problem has grown.

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