PUTRAJAYA - Immigration officers stormed a high-security serviced apartment in George Town and busted a newly set-up international prostitution ring.
The midnight raid yesterday saw the enforcement team detaining 16 women from Uzbekistan, an Indonesian and two Vietnamese aged between 17 and 38.
Also arrested were three local men believed to be pimps.
The syndicate housed the women in the highly-secured apartment with a strict visitor policy to avoid detection, said Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.
"We believe the ring has been operating for two months, offering sex services via social media application WeChat.
"Checks showed that some of the women entered the country using social passes while some had no documents on them.
"We have taken all the foreigners in custody while we investigate the case," he said.
It is learnt that customers paid between RM240 (S$77) and RM350 for a session with the Uzbekistan women.
Authorities also seized RM12,629 (S$4,040), a Mercedes Benz and a Proton Exora during the raid.
All the suspects would be investigated not only for violating immigration regulations but also for suspicion of human trafficking.
Mustafar thanked concerned citizens for tipping off his office on the case and urged similar co-operation in future.