The prostitution situation in Ho Chi Minh City has become increasingly "complicated," partly due to the increasing involvement of foreigners, it was said at a recent municipal meeting.
Lieutenant-colonel Nguyen Van Nua from HCMC Police Department's social order division, said foreigners have been participating in online prostitution rings as either procurers or customers, adding that some of the operations organized transnational sex tours.
In the meantime, more and more South Korean and Japanese karaoke parlors have been found to be providing prostitution services, but only for customers from their native countries, the officer was quoted as saying in news website VnExpress.
Combating prostitution in HCMC has also become problematic due to the increase of both gay and straight male prostitutes, according to police division.
Moreover, there were more rings charging up to thousands of dollars for sex with women advertised as actresses and models, it said.
At the meeting, agencies reported that prostitution is predominately restricted in hotels, restaurants, discotheques and karaoke parlors, but that acts of sexual arousal or gratification also occurs at places like barbershops, massage parlors and spas, VnExpress said.
The city now hosts some 950 hotels, over 1,500 motels, 1,640 restaurants, 28 discotheques, 739 karaoke parlors, over 7,000 cafés, 336 massage parlors, and 760 barbershops; and monitoring them all poses quite a challenge to police.
Authorities also noted a rise in sex workers on the street, saying that Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Hoang Sa streets in District 1 are among popular public places for customers to procure prostitutes.
Currently, there are approximately 3,500 female prostitutes, some 50 madams and 85 pimps operating in HCMC, according official figures revealed at the meeting.