Iranian and Yemeni women held for prostitution

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31, 2012: Middle Eastern women are entering Malaysia on the pretext of being students and tourists to earn a quick buck in the flesh trade.

Police made the discovery two weeks ago when they raided a nightspot on Jalan Bukit Bintang and detained 15 Iranian and Yemeni women aged between 19 and 30 years.

Federal CID director Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said it was the first time police had come across Middle Eastern women being involved in prostitution here.

He said records show thousands of women from 21 countries have been detained in the past for suspected prostitution in Malaysia.

He said about 90% of those detained were from China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.

He said in raids conducted by the anti-vice, gaming and secret society division (D7) at suspected flesh trade nests in the country, police arrested 11,919 foreign women in 2010, and 11,832 in 2011.

He said 2,861 Malaysian women were also picked up for similar offences over the past two years.

On human trafficking, Mohd Bakri said there was a decline in such cases last year compared with 2010. He said last year there were 116 cases involving 218 victims while in 2010 there were 132 cases involving 471 victims.

He said 359 members of human trafficking syndicates, of which 239 were Malaysian, were detained over the two years. He said most of the victims were Indonesians and Filipinos.

At a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday, Mohd Bakri said police are also focusing on clamping down on illegal gambling activities in the country this year.

He said 24,541 raids in 2010 and 34,865 in 2011 carried out by the CID saw about 45,000 people arrested in the two years.

On gangsterism and underworld activities, Mohd Bakri said police are constantly monitoring these groups.

He said with the removal of preventive laws, police require solid evidence to substantiate their findings when taking action against those involved in gangsterism.

"We hope the public will come forward and assist us by providing evidence in court so that these crooks will face action for their illegal activities. The public must also be brave to come forward and give us information. When it is necessary, we will provide them with protection so they have nothing to fear." he said.