Defector, others run prostitution ringFour people, one of whom is a North Korean defector, were indicted for human trafficking and forcing 70 North Korean female defectors into prostitution, Seoul police said yesterday.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s international-crime investigation division said that the group had forced the women into prostitution in Qingdao, China, after buying them from Chinese brokers.
The women, who had no connections in China and lived lives of poverty, were each bought for about 3.5 million won ($3,200) after being told they would be sent to South Korea. The reality was harshly different, as the 70 women were forced to live and work on premises that the four ran from February 2007 to November 2009.
The four people, including a 40-year-old female North Korean defector surnamed Kim, raised roughly 30 million won ($28,000) through their prostitution business, police said during a briefing yesterday.
“One woman who managed to escape to South Korea testified about what she had gone through. We later received a tip that the four were in South Korea and arrested them,” said a Seoul police official.
“Many North Korean female defectors are in limbo before they can enter South Korea, and this type of human trafficking and prostitution occurs often because the women try to make a living,” the official said.
Once the women were in the group’s hands, the prostitution ring physically abused the women if their services were not “good enough” and took 20 percent of their wages, police said. The women received 100,000 won from each customer.
One victim in her mid-30s surnamed Cho escaped the brothel but was tracked down by the ring, which took 400,000 won from her.
The police believe there may be more victims and are currently tracking down the Chinese brokers in search of more involved in the ring.
By Christine Kim [email@example.com]
한글 관련 기사 [연합]
탈북여성 70명 인신매매 후 성매매 강요
실적 나쁘다며 폭행…몸값 갈취도
중국에서 인신매매한 탈북여성 수십명을 가둬놓고 성매매를 시켜온 일당이 덜미를 잡혔다.
서울지방경찰청 국제범죄수사대는 탈북여성들에게 성매매를 강요한 혐의(성매매알선등 행위의 처벌에 관한 법률 위반 등)로 탈북자 김모(40.여)씨 등 4명을 불구속입건했다고 12일 밝혔다.
경찰에 따르면 김씨 등은 2007년 2월∼2009년 11월 중국 칭다오에서 인신매매한 탈북여성 70명을 자신들이 운영하는 업소와 숙소에 합숙하게 하면서 성매매를 하도록 해 3천여만원의 불법 수익을 올린 혐의를 받고 있다.
또 업소에서 도주한 탈북 여성 조모(30대 중반)씨를 찾아내 몸값으로 40만원을 갈취한 혐의도 받고 있다.
이들은 현지 유흥주점에 보내 성매매를 강요한 피해 여성들한테서 1회 10만원의 화대 중 20%를 빼앗고, 성매매 실적이 좋지 않다는 이유로 폭행까지 가했다고 경찰은 전했다.
조사 결과 이들은 중국에 있는 탈북 여성 대다수가 현지에 연고가 없고 일정한 거처 없이 궁핍하게 사는 점을 악용, 한국에 입국시켜 주겠다는 미끼로 중국인 브로커를 통해 한 명당 약 360만원을 주고 인신매매한 것으로 드러났다.
경찰은 이 범행에 가담한 일행과 피해자가 더 있을 것으로 보고 중국내 성매매 알선업자 등을 추적하고 있다.