Pair who made £100,000 from ‘sexual conveyor belt’ of prostitution facing jail
Malaysian Hong Chin, Li Wei Gao and Ting Li Lu were found guilty of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.
A former couple are facing jail after they helped fund their child’s private education by trafficking women into a “sexual conveyor belt” of prostitution across England and Wales.
Malaysian Hong Chin, 45, ran a pit bull dog breeding kennel on a country estate in Esher, Surrey, where his ex-partner Li Wei Gao, 44, lived in a converted barn with their daughter.
At the same time, the pair raked in more than £100,000 through the trade in trafficking women for sex work until the operation was shut down by Sussex Police.
They were helped by Chin’s then-lover, Ting Li Lu, 47, who he lived with in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, jurors heard.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey, all three defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain between February 2013 and June 2015.
They were also convicted of plotting to traffic for sexual exploitation into the UK between March and June 2015.
The defendants were found guilty on all charges by a majority after the jury deliberated for more than 14 hours.
Sussex detectives had identified 18 women from China, Hong Kong and Korea who were allegedly exploited for prostitution.
But they came up across a wall of silence from the women, many of whom denied being involved in the sex trade, with only one prepared to give evidence in court.
Investigators gathered other evidence from mobile phones, adult websites and booking records as well as CCTV footage which showed the defendants escorting women to hotels around the country.
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 Booking.com 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 Philip Katz QC described the operation as a “sexual conveyor belt”.
Chin had a fake British passport and went by various different names including Ricky, Goon Saw and Ken.
His ex-partner used a false passport in the name of Xin Pan and also was known by the alias Jassica, the court heard.
The victims, many of whom were believed to be debt-bonded to traffickers in China, had rejected offers of support from authorities and all but one returned to their home countries.
The woman who gave evidence in the trial has since claimed asylum in the UK.
Chin, of Dunstall, Burton-Upon-Trent, Gao, of Heathside, Oxshott, and Lu, of Portsmouth, denied the charges against them.
Chin and his two Chinese co-defendants will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on a future date to be fixed.