Model, beauty queen charged with pimping

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The Ho Chi Minh City Prosecutors' Office has ratified charges against six people involved in a high-priced prostitution ring that employed models and beauty queens.

The ring was busted last June.

The six defendants charged include two freelance models Vo Thi My Xuan, 28, winner of a Mekong Delta beauty contest in 2009 and Tran Thi Hoa, 26, aka model Thien Kim. The other four are: Tran Quang Mai and Le Quang Tuan Anh, both make-up artists; Nguyen Huu Dat, driver for a communication firm; and Luong Quoc Huy, a pimp.

According to the indictment, since 2010, Mai began to employ models and singers in his prostitution ring and gradually got the other defendants involved in the operation.

On June 2, 2012, HCMC police raided a hotel in District 1 and caught a female celebrity working as a prostitute. The same day, they raided another hotel and found two other beauty queens engaged in similar activity.

Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of the six defendants. Xuan and Hoa were accused of working as sex workers as well as procurers.

In May 2012, Xuan had sex with customers twice for US$2,200 each. She got $1,000 and the procurers, Mai and Anh, shared the rest, the prosecutors allege.

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In June, Xuan procured a model and a beauty queen who have not been identified, to a hotel in District 1 to have sex with clients for a total of $3,000, for which she was paid $1,000.

Investigators found the ring had procured women for prostitution several times for between $2,500 and $7,000 each.

Vietnam's 2012 income per capita  was $1,555.

The sex workers and customers were fined while the six procurers were arrested.

If convicted of "procuring for prostitution," the defendants can be sentenced to between three and ten years in jail under the Penal Code.

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