'Sexual conveyor belt' trafficker jailed

Hong Chin, Li Wei Gao and Ting Li Lu Image copyright Central News
Image caption Hong Chin, Li Wei Gao and Ting Li Lu lured women to the UK from east Asia

A man has been jailed for his part in a prostitution network described as a "sexual conveyor belt".

Hong Chin, 45, his former partner Li Wei Gao, 44, and lover Ting Li Lu, 47, lured women to the UK from China, Hong Kong and Korea, jurors at the Old Bailey heard.

The women were advertised online and sent to hotels over England and Wales.

Chin was given a prison term of four years by Judge Philip Katz QC. Gao and Lu will be sentenced at a later date.

'Pimping business'

Jailing Chin, the judge said: "It seems to me you are an intelligent and entrepreneurial man.

"It would have been perfectly possible to live in a law-abiding manner and make a living in an honest way.

"I think you became greedy. You became a 'boss' of female Asian prostitutes.

"Sex workers were passed around bosses like you to earn as much as they could before being passed to the next boss.

"This was an organised pimping business."

He said there was no evidence Chin had made women work by threat of forceful use of violence, or any form of physical coercion, but added: "It seems to me this was a sustained, cynical and organised exploitation of women."

Image copyright Sussex police
Image caption Li Wei Gao was caught on hotel CCTV with the trafficked women

Sussex Police were alerted to the illicit operation in February 2015 after one of the trafficked women reported being debt bonded.

Customers paid in cash on arrival and some of it was channelled into the accounts of Chin and Gao.

In just over two years more than £150,000 was paid into bank accounts operated by the gang, helping to pay for private school fees and golf club membership.

Sussex detectives identified 18 further women from China, Hong Kong and Korea who were exploited for prostitution.

One woman told jurors she was forced to have sex with as many as ten men a day, with half her earnings passed on to her handlers.

Image copyright Sussex police
Image caption Money from clients was channelled into gang bank accounts

Chin used false details to make 92 bookings at hotels across England and Wales between August 2013 and February 2015.

In his summing up, the judge described the operation as a "sexual conveyor belt".

Chin, who had a fake British passport and went by various names including Ricky and Ken, ran a dog breeding kennel on a country estate in Esher, Surrey, where Gao stayed in a converted barn with their daughter.

Chin and Lu, from Portsmouth, were both found guilty of trafficking people within the UK for sexual exploitation.

Gao, from Oxshott, Surrey, was found guilty of controlled prostitution for gain and acquiring or possessing criminal property, alongside Chin and Lu.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites