Tuesday February 5, 2013
Woman forced six Malaysians to work as sex slaves, court told
MELBOURNE: A woman accused of running a brothel in Sydney told the six Malaysian women she held in alleged “sexual servitude” that they must perform sex acts to settle their debts incurred for travelling to Australia, a court heard here yesterday.
On the opening day of the trial of Wong Chee Mei, 37, at the New South Wales District Court in Sydney, it was claimed that Wong, also known as Yoko, had run the Diamonds brothel in Wil- loughby between August 2008 and 2010.
Crown Prosecutor Carolyn Davenport SC said the Malaysian women, who spoke little or no English, were told that they would have to work until they paid off the cost of their air fare, visa and course fees amounting to about A$5,000 (RM16,133.62).
“They were also told upon arrival what services they must perform at the brothel,” she was quoted by Australian Association Press as saying.
“When some of them refused, they were told that they must. They were also told that they were not allowed to leave the brothel until they had paid off their debts,” said Davenport.
Wong had earlier pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual servitude and six counts of breaching visas, including exploiting workers.
She was said to have employed six women after recruiting them in Malaysia and sending them to Australia on student visas.
Despite the women having paid off their debt within a “short period of time”, it was further alleged that Wong then threatened to have their visas revoked should they leave.
Wong’s lawyer Bruce Quinn contended that she was a “woman of good character”, who only worked at the brothel as a receptionist. — Bernama