Beauty queen, models caught in prostitution scandal to receive counselling

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Four young women including a college student have been rebuked and handed over to local authorities for counseling after they were caught as a part of a high-priced prostitution ring.

The girls have only received light punishments because it is a first time offense, police said in a Thursday report by news website VietNamNet.

The four woman are Jenny Phuong, a model and actress who was poised to attend Vietnam's South Mekong beauty pageant;  model Ngoc Thuy, 23, a TV series actress; Le Thi Yen Duy, 22-year-old beauty queen of the Mekong delta contest in 2010; and 25-year-old college student only identified as L.T.H.D.

They were caught offering commercial sex to four HCMC property investors at two hotels in District 1 on June 2, as employees of Vo Thi My Xuan, 2009 winner of the Mekong beauty contest, and HCMC actress Thien Kim.

Xuan and Kim ran the ring with at least three others, all having some connection to Vietnam's showbiz industry.

The ring organizers, except for Kim who is pregnant, have been detained pending criminal charges of brokering commercial sex, which can send them to jail for between six months and five years.

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Police said Jenny Phuong and Yen Duy charged $1,500 a time, Ngoc Thuy $1,000 and the student, VND5 million ($250).

They said they are looking for a man called Huy who is believed to hold the lists of many showbiz members and customers involved in prostitution.

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