20 teenage girls facing charges in 'sex ring'

SOME 20 teenage girls, mostly students under 18 years old and including two under 14, have been caught by police offering prostitution in Shanghai to earn pocket money.

Three of the suspects, believed to be starters of the "teenage girl prostitution ring," face charges of offering sex services and inducing classmates and friends to enter the business, Zhabei District prosecutors said.

"Many of them offered the prostitution services only to earn some pocket money and they were not ashamed of the trade," said Han Konglin, a prosecutor.

Han said some come from families with decent economic backgrounds. Some of the girls would contact customers whenever they didn't have enough pocket money to go shopping.

"To me, it's not even realistic or worthwhile to study hard, go to university and have a decent job," said one suspect, a vocational school student nicknamed Xiao Wen. "I don't want to be a normal worker like my parents, living a hard life to earn money."

She told prosecutors that she fell into the business because she believed it was the fastest way to earn money.

"I didn't mean to drag my friends into trouble. They all love to do the job because our parents never give us enough pocket money to spend, but money is needed in every way," she said.

According to prosecutors, the "ring" was established in 2009 when the three girls started offering sex service and looked for more girls to join them. They introduced several classmates into the business, helping them to contact customers and earned shares or commissions from the fees they earned.

The girls ran the business by logging online, asking their customers whether they needed a young girl to "play with" and arranging an appointment, usually at hotels late at night. Fees for such services could go up to 1,000 yuan.

Many of the girls didn't realize that they were breaking the law and were simply tempted by the income, prosecutors said. The girls were caught after a customer reported to police th! at they had stolen a valuable watch from him.

Prosecutors blamed a lack of moral education in schools and families for allowing something like this to flourish. Some parents spoil or abuse their daughters, while schools ignore moral education, they said.

The incident has also revealed loopholes in management of local hotels? given the ease with which girls entered rooms freely to have sexual relationships with their customers despite regulations that require hotels to check customer ID cards.

Motel 168, Home Inns and, Jinjiang Inn were all found allowing the girls under 18 years to be illegally accommodated into the rooms by using other people's ID cards.


Popular posts from this blog

The business of running

Officials pledge to improve lives