– 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

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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