Immigration office, Penang, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

Immigration officers arrested a total of 20 foreign women in a sports and leisure center that was allegedly operating as an unlicensed entertainment center in Penang, Malaysia. The arrests came after a special raid conducted on Friday in a clamp-down on providing illegal sexual services.

Complaints from the public informed the authorities of a building in Bukit Mertajam that was allegedly being used at night for prostitution by foreign women, the China Press reported.

At around 11pm on May 3, Penang immigration officers raided the location, where they intercepted as many as 32 foreign nationals.

Among them, 20 were women, 11 from Vietnam, six Thais, two Chinese and an Indonesian, who were arrested for engaging in immoral sexual activities as guest relations officers.

Two Bangladeshi men, who were migrant workers, were also arrested for failing to produce valid travel documents, and thus detained for violating the conditions of their stay in Malaysia.

Penang immigration officials later said in a media meeting that the premises had been raided several times previously, but no arrests had been made until the Friday operation because there was a secret passage which allowed the evacuation of prostitutes in the event of raids by the authorities.

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