Dogbreeder who ran sex trafficking network with his wife and his lover jailed for four years

Dogbreeder who ran sex trafficking network with his wife and his lover jailed for four years
(Left to right) Hong Chin, Li Wei Gao and Ting Li Lu.

A dog breeder in England who made more than £100,000 by trafficking women onto a "sexual conveyor belt" across England and Wales has been jailed for four years.

Malaysian Hong Chin, 45, helped fund his daughter's private education by organising the prostitution of mainly Chinese women.

Following an Old Bailey trial, Chin was found guilty of controlling prostitution and plotting to traffic for sexual exploitation along with his former lover Ting Li Lu, 47, and his child's mother, Li Wei Gao, 44.

Chin was sentenced by Judge Philip Katz QC at the Old Bailey while his co-accused will learn their fate on November 3.

The court had heard how Chin ran a pit bull dog breeding kennel on a country estate in Esher, Surrey, where Gao lived in a converted barn with their daughter.

At the same time, the pair raked in thousands of pounds through the trade in trafficking women for sex work until the operation was shut down by Sussex Police in June 2015.

They were helped by Lu, who Chin lived with in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, jurors heard.

Sussex Police were alerted to the illicit operation in February 2015 after one of the women reported being debt bonded.

Following extensive investigations, they identified 18 women from China, Hong Kong and Korea who were exploited for prostitution.

The women advertised sex services on adult websites and the contact number was fielded by the defendants who would organise and notify them of jobs.

The gang would use false details when they reserved rooms through at hotels including Premier Inn, Travelodge, and Holiday Inn.

Between August 2013 and February 2015, Chin made a total of 92 hotel reservations on the online booking service, the court heard.

The women were sent to perform sexual services in hotels all over southern England and Wales, including Maidstone, Cardiff, Brighton, Gatwick, Eastbourne, Southampton, Woking, Exeter, Guildford, Windsor and Bournemouth.

The customers paid in cash on arrival and some of it was channelled into the accounts of Chin and Gao.

When police visited the rooms they frequently found them in disarray, with the detritus of prostitution in evidence, including condoms.

In his summing up, Judge Katz described the operation as a "sexual conveyor belt".

The victims have since returned to their home countries, except for one woman who gave evidence in the trial who has claimed asylum in the UK.

Chin, of Dunstall, Burton upon Trent, Gao, of Heathside, Oxshott, and Lu, of Portsmouth, had denied the charges against them.

Kevin Thomson from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This was an organised operation designed to traffic women into prostitution, as shown by the variety of bank accounts used to run it and the sheer amount of funds it generated.

"These elements helped to provide compelling evidence of what these defendants were doing.

"The gang exploited vulnerable women, putting them to work in situations which exposed them to serious potential risks.

"Once the women were caught up in the prostitution ring, it was invariably almost impossible for them to escape the life they had been forced into.

"All the time, they were then earning what turned out to be huge sums of money for the defendants, who were responsible for running the operation without any regard for the women's well-being."

Detective Inspector Andy Richardson of Sussex Police said: "I'm delighted with the sentence and I'm delighted we were successful in our application for a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order against Chin, which will stop him exploiting vulnerable women again.

"It also sends out a clear message that this sort of activity will not be tolerated and that anyone caught doing so will be dealt with robustly."

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