The police have busted a prostitution syndicate that runs its illegal activities online at a hotel in George Town, Penang on 19 April
According to a statement by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) in Penang, two local men — aged 36 and 37 — and a 31-year-old woman were arrested in the raid at 11.35pm on Monday.
A foreign woman who was forced to become a victim of prostitution by the syndicate was rescued at a hotel in George Town and another victim was also rescued at a condominium in the Batu Ferringhi area.
State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief SAC Rahimi Mohd Ra'ais said the police managed to pull the raid off after a week of surveillance and public information provided to the force, reported Bernama.
Preliminary investigations found that the syndicate operated by advertising pictures of victims on websites for prostitution services
"The syndicate will set the time and price before sending the victims to customers' agreed destination," the statement said.
Based on a screenshot of the syndicate's website shared by the police, the syndicate charged RM150 to RM200 for sexual services.
Additionally, another screenshot shows customers can request an 'outcall delivery' service for an additional charge between RM30 and RM60.
Rahimi said the syndicate targeted local and foreign customers and investigations found that they were raking in thousands of ringgit in profit per month from the activities, reported Sinar Harian.
The case will be investigated under Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007
If convicted, the suspects could face up to 15 years' jail and a fine.
PDRM warned members of the public not to get involved in such activities as actions will be taken against offenders in accordance with the law.
In the statement, the police added that such activities could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 as well.