Published Thursday | March 6, 2008
10 Korean 'Sex Slaves' Freed in Sydney
The Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Police have rescued 10 South Korean women who were forced to work in a Sydney brothel by a sex slavery syndicate that lured them to Australia with promises of legitimate jobs, officials said Friday.

Four Australian men and women and a South Korean woman were arrested early Friday and charged with multiple offenses relating to a sex trafficking business that was making $2.8 million a year, Australian Federal Police and the Immigration Department said in a joint statement.

The victims, who were rescued by police Thursday, were receiving counseling and government support, immigration official Lyn O'Connell said. She said no decision had been made on whether they would remain in Australia as prosecution witnesses.

Police allege the Sydney syndicate recruited women in South Korea to work as prostitutes but deceived them about the work conditions and then organized their work visas.

Police Assistant Commissioner Tim Morris told reporters that the victims had agreed to work in the Australian sex industry "under more reasonable conditions."

Once in Australia, the syndicate took the women's passports and made them work in a legal syndicate-owned brothel for up to 20 hours a day, the statement said. Police have not said how long the women had been enslaved. ... d=10276632