26 Sep 2006

Chinese couple in American Samoa charged with operating prostitution ring

11:27 am on 26 September 2006

A Chinese couple charged with operating a prostitution ring in American Samoa will stand trial in the High Court.

The District Court Judge John Ward found that there was probable evidence that Fu Shen Kuo and Ju Sheng Wang committed the crimes of promoting prostitution, kidnapping, harbouring illegal aliens and assault.

The victims had been lured to the territory by the female defendant on the promise of a store job, and had been forced into prostitution.

The hearing found out the victims had been sponsored by Representative Faalae Tunupopo and another government official, the deputy director of Property Management, Uiaagalelei Iona.

The pair appeared in High Court on Friday and pled not guilty to the charges, and will appear in court next month for pre-trial conferences.

The FBI is helping police investigate the case.