PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia The Immigration Department detained 17 foreign women at a premises in Taman Maluri, Cheras in Kuala Lumpur yesterday for offering sexual services.

Its director-general, Mustafar Ali said the premises had been operating as a traditional massage parlour to fool the authorities, with the prostitution activities taking place on the third floor of a building that housed a snooker centre.

He said the premises were raided by the department several times last year with over 40 women being arrested and sentenced, but the prostitution activities were still being carried out at the premises without fearing the authorities and law.

Those detained were Vietnamese, Indonesians, Laotians and Thais, he said in a statement here yesterday.

Mustafar said also arrested were two local men who had been working as supervisors at the premises, and were detained during the previous operation.

He said further inspection found that the premises had been operating illegally and was believed to have earned profits of tens of thousands a day through prostitution.

The employer of the premises have good relations with overseas agents such as in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and so on to bring in the women from those countries into Malaysia in order to gain huge profits, said Mustafar.

He said all the detainees were being placed at the Putrajaya Immigration Detention Depot for investigations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (Antipsom), Immigration Act 1959/63, Passports Act 1966 and the Immigration Regulations 1963.

Source: NAM News Network