– Three people who allegedly sourced more than 100 sex workers for Melbourne brothels would be likely to continue operating their lucrative syndicate if granted bail, a magistrate has said.
Mae Ja Kim, Moon Ja Kim and Huan Wen Ye were denied bail on Monday as magistrate Rose Falla found none had a legitimate income outside of the alleged crime syndicate.
Five people were arrested during Australian Federal Police raids on July 2nd that targeted the operations of four brothels. Investigations are continuing into possible human trafficking and sex slavery, the AFP told the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Mae Ja Kim is charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime worth more than $100,000 or more. Moon Ja Kim, Huan Wen Ye, Xing Jin and Zhe Fang face the charge of aiding and abetting the dealing in the proceeds of crime worth more than $100,000.
Mr Jin was granted bail on July 2nd and Mr Fang was granted bail on Monday but has had a student visa cancelled and so will be taken into the custody of the Immigration Department. The bail application was first made on July 5th and heard again on July 12th before concluding on Monday.
Ms Falla said there was an unacceptable risk the group would interfere with witnesses or offend while on bail.
Mae Ja Kim, 38, and Moon Ja Kim, 56, are sisters. The AFP alleges Mae Ja Kim was the aggressive and unstable head of the syndicate and Moon Ja Kim was the steady-handed deputy.
It is alleged the syndicate provided Top on Tope and Shop 39, in South Melbourne; Tender Touch in West Melbourne; and Candy Club in Richmond with sex workers sourced from South-East Asia. The workers were allegedly transported to Australia, given accommodation, and driven between there and the brothels by about 10 “overseers” employed by the syndicate.
The sex workers allegedly had to pay for these services, and meet performance targets set by Mae Ja Kim and measured in units, which were worth $130 and corresponded to a 30-minute appointment. The worker was paid $75 for each appointment, with the syndicate paid at least 50% of the rest.
The syndicate made about $82,500 a week, the AFP alleges. Failure to meet the targets resulted in fines or being moved to a less-lucrative brothel.
Mr Ye, 32, is Mae Ja Kim’s estranged husband. He claimed to be a furniture removalist but is alleged to be the syndicate’s property manager responsible for housing the sex workers, with four or five generally sharing a two-bedroom apartment. Police said he managed at least 27 properties and used 18 aliases.
Mr Fang, 35, was licensed to manage Top on Tope and was alleged to be the syndicate’s bookkeeper. He was allegedly responsible for collecting money from the brothels and tracking the performance of workers.
Barrister Costas Kilias, for Mae Ja Kim, said his client had merely acted as a recruitment agent for the brothels – Niño Bucci


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
This entry was posted in Aiding & Abetting, Human Trafficking, Proceeds of Crime, Sex Trafficking, Solicitation and Prostitution and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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