Beijing arrests hundreds, closes nightclubs over sex trade

Updated 2016-12-26 09:30:59 Global Times

Beijing police on Friday arrested hundreds of people for their suspected involvement in prostitution, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said in a statement on Sunday on its Sina Weibo account.

Working on tips, the Beijing police force cased numerous entertainment venues, read the statement.

Several hundred people at the Baoli Club, located in Beijing's Dongcheng district, and two other clubs in the Haidian district, were arrested Friday night.

Police have closed the three clubs, the official WeChat public account of the Legal Mirror, a Beijing-based newspaper, reported on Sunday.

A janitor at the Baoli Club told the Legal Mirror that around 8 pm, the police arrived and blocked the parking lot, before taking away about 60 people, including waiters and security guards from the club.

Janitors at the Landai Club said the surprise police visit took place between 8 pm and 9 pm, and over 300 club employees were taken away, including over 100 women.

The statement said investigation is ongoing.

The crackdown on entertainment venues linked to the sex industry provoked memories of the shutdown of a prominent nightclub in Beijing in 2010, Passion Club, also known as Tianshang Renjian (paradise on earth) in Chinese. It was shut down for six months, the maximum penalty for entertainment venues that provide escort services, the Global Times previously reported.

Beijing police have raided thousands of entertainment venues, closed down 35 of them and detained 1,132 people, to clean up the city's sex industry, Xinhua reported in 2010.

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