4 Sep 2006

Five Chinese women held in custody in American Samoa on prostitution charges

7:48 pm on 4 September 2006

A Chinese couple in American Samoa is being accused of running a prostitution establishment at a karaoke bar in Pago Pago.

The couple face multiple charges, including promoting prostitution and kidnapping.

The FBI, along with local police, is investigating the case.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says police took action after two Chinese women fled from the bar and alleged they had been forced into prostitution.

"The two ladies, Chinese nationals, flagged down a police car and they told the police about the alleged prostitution ring. The woman had come to China, told the women that she operates a store here in American Samoa and that she was looking for employees and that she wanted the women to come to Pago Pago and work in the store. But when they arrived here, they arrived here in March, they were forced into prostitution."

Monica Miller says police raided the bar and found three additional Chinese sex workers there.

She says the five sex workers are being held in custody, because they were found to have questionable documents as their visas were duplicated and had also expired.