A Malaysian Woman Was Forced To Work As A Prostitute In Australia By Her Own Friend
It was December 2015. A Malaysian woman took a flight to Perth for a holiday, but she ended up working as a prostitute instead.
The woman was given flight tickets by a childhood friend, Khoo Lay Foon, after the latter's boyfriend bought the tickets.
However, what the woman thought to be a "10-day holiday" in Perth turned out to be a complete nightmare when Khoo forced her to work in a brothel there. On the day she arrived in Perth, the woman's passport was confiscated by Khoo, who demanded her to work as a prostitute to pay back the travel arrangements that cost AUD1,900 (about RM6,500).
According to Australian daily The West, the mother of two, who is unnamed in media reports, was working under the name 'Vanessa'.
Almost two years after the incident, Khoo went on trial in the District Court in Perth on Tuesday, 5 September, for allegedly tricking her own friend
It was reported that the victim, a 29-year-old account executive, told the jury that she came to Perth to look for part-time work and study opportunities but she was coerced into working as a prostitute when her passport was taken away by Khoo.
"She (Khoo) said I had to start work immediately in the sex industry with the guys," the woman was quoted as saying by The West.
"I had already arrived in Australia alone and she kept changing her ways of talking to me."
The prosecution said that the woman relented and worked in the brothel for about a week because she had thought she did not have a choice but to do as told
The victim testified saying that she saw about six clients on her first night in the brothel, The West reported.
It was only after she contacted a friend to ask him about the Australian laws that she called the police, who allegedly told her she was allowed to move around freely. The woman managed to escape and the police made arrangements to take her to a police station.
Meanwhile, Perth Now reported prosecutor Lisa Boston as saying that Khoo had sent a text message to the brothel owner even before the victim had arrived, to tell the "lady boss" about her "young and very pretty" friend.
Khoo has admitted to driving her friend to the brothel. However, she has denied allegations of deceiving her friend about her stay or taking away the woman's passport.
It was reported that Khoo has claimed that her friend had asked to be brought to the brothel in Perth after she arrived in Perth.
She told the Australian Federal Police during the investigations that her friend had run away from Malaysia because she owed money to loan sharks. Upon learning this, Khoo allegedly wanted to help her friend and drove her to the brothel so she could get work.
It was also alleged that Khoo worked as a prostitute for three months after moving to Western Australia in 2015. She quit when she found a boyfriend, but allegedly started helping women move to Australia so they could work at two Perth brothels.
The trial is still ongoing.