Prostitution ring boasting army of workers busted

The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) has cracked a prostitution ring that boasted an army of several thousand call girls, including college students and office workers.

According to a statement released by the CIB yesterday, the ring's patrons, who paid anywhere from NT$10,000 to NT$50,000 (S$430 to S$2,000) per session at designated addresses or in five-star hotels, numbered in the tens of thousands, including the rich and famous in business and political circles. Their names were entered in a registry as members.

Chang Hung-tao, 48, the suspected ring leader now in police custody, claims he has been operating the ring for more than 12 years. Another 15 suspects were detained by investigators yesterday. The ring's co-leader, a 39-year-old woman named Chen Chi-ju, is still at large.

The CIB statement also alleges that Chang blackmailed his customers after capturing them on camera in compromising situations and extorted money from call girls under his wing and those who had gone independent, investing his ill-gotten money in luxurious mansions and acquiring properties.