252 men arrested in prostitution cases in Mokpo

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252 men arrested in prostitution cases in Mokpo

After a four-month investigation, police questioned more than 200 visitors to a hostess bar in Mokpo, South Jeolla, for soliciting prostitution.

Police said yesterday that it brought in 252 male visitors and 37 alleged prostitutes - including 37 civil servants, working for government or state-run companies, 94 professionals, such as doctors, accountants and businessman and 121 others. The three owners of the bar were also arrested.

This is the first time that Korean police have implicated more than 200 people in a single case.

The police’s suspicion about the bar started in June when it was investigating a fight between a hostess and a customer.

After noticing that something seemed wrong at the bar, police conducted a search and found a notebook called “Madam’s ‘Second Round’ Notebook,” an account book with phone numbers for 400 individuals and information about whether visitors went to a brothel for a “second round.”

A common phrase among Koreans is “Go a second round!” The phrase implies that a group should go somewhere else to have fun - whether it be karaoke rooms or another bar - after they finish up their first drinks.

The woman at the hostess bar wrote down in her notebook the real names of civil servants and high-ranking employees at conglomerates who went to brothels for a “second round.” The “madam” also recorded how much money the visitors spent in the bar and on prostitution.

Police said they will investigate whether the civil servants received services as bribes from private companies.

“The detained men will be indicted soon,” said the police.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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