[Stop-traffic] News/US: Police conduct local searches tied to Asian prostitution ring

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Police conduct local searches tied to Asian prostitution ring
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Sep 19 2000 - 15:52:38 EDT


Police conduct local searches tied to Asian prostitution ring
By Chris Graves
The Star Tribune (Minneapolis), September 10, 2000

Federal agents raided four buildings in Eden Prairie and one in Minneapolis
Friday night in connection with a nationwide investigation of a
prostitution operation that smuggled women into the United States from Asia.

The women paid for their entry into the country by prostituting themselves,
according to a federal indictment filed in Las Vegas, which offers a peek
into the two-year federal probe dubbed Operation Jade Blade.

"The Asian alien women upon illegally entering the United States would
typically owe a fee to the individuals arranging for their illegal entry in
the United States," the indictment said. "The conspirators expected the
Asian alien women to pay their debt by performing acts of prostitution."

The indictment alleges that members of the ring moved the women every two
to three weeks to a brothel in a different city.

One stop on that nationwide circuit appears to have been Eden Prairie and
Minneapolis.

Special agent Paul McCabe, spokesman for the Minneapolis FBI, acknowledged
that the Asian Organized Crime Task Force conducted five federal searches
Friday evening, but he declined to discuss their nature, where they were
conducted or if they were tied to the nationwide investigation. The task
force comprises the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service,
Minneapolis and St. Paul police, Ramsey and Dakota county sheriffs offices
and the state Department of Public Service. Eden Prairie officers assisted
in the raids there.

The Las Vegas FBI spokesman confirmed that the local searches were part of
the investigation. FBI special agent Joseph Dickey said raids also were
conducted Friday and Saturday in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Shortly after the raids in Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, authorities in Las
Vegas arrested five people indicted by a federal grand jury in Nevada last
week.

They are Yuk Ching Liu, 51; Dat Ming Leung, 40; Dan Chau, 25; Cindy Tan,
43, and Andy Ru Xiang Zhao, whose age is unknown. All lived in Las Vegas.
Also arrested were Tjui Ha, also known as Mary Ha, "Old Mom," or "Old
Madam," 45, of Rosemead, Calif.

Minh Buu Huynh, also known as "Nine Fingers," whose age and address weren't
known, was also indicted and remains in custody in Denver on an unrelated
matter. Authorities are looking for a man known as Guy Gor who was charged
in the indictment.

The indictment charges the eight with smuggling and moving the women into
the country; interstate and foreign movement of women for illegal
prostitution; interstate and foreign travel in aid of prostitution
business, and money laundering.

Those indicted in Las Vegas, according to Dickey, received proceeds from
the brothels. Money made from the brothels also went to cover expenses
incurred by smuggling the women and moving them so often.

One man who broke from the main organization also provided protection money
to others to operate his brothels.

No one has been arrested or indicted in Minnesota in connection with the
investigation. One person was arrested in Minneapolis on an unrelated
matter Friday evening. McCabe declined to say whether homes or businesses
were raided.

Dickey, who also declined to offer many specifics, said Ha smuggled the
women from various Asian countries into the United States. He wouldn't say
how old they were.

"A number of women were brought in -- a significant number per month --
from overseas," he said. "I know that is shady, but that's the best I can
do because of pending litigation."

He also declined to discuss how or where the women entered the country. He
declined to say how money was laundered but added that of 13 raids in Las
Vegas, some were on businesses.

McCabe declined to indicate if the local tentacle of the probe included
money laundering.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
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dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
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