2 Oct 2006

Chinese charged over a prostitution racket make first court appearance in Hawaii

7:03 pm on 2 October 2006

Two Chinese citizens charged with operating a prostitution racket in American Samoa have made their first appearance in the Hawaii federal district court.

Fu Shen Kuo and Ju Sheng Wang face charges of illegal activities including human trafficking. A third suspect has yet to be arrested and escorted to Honolulu.

Kuo and Wang have already been charged for promoting prostitution, harbouring illegal aliens and assault, but American Samoa does not have a human trafficking law.

The alleged prostitution ring was uncovered last month when two victims escaped by jumping from the third floor of the building in Pago Pago which housed the operation. The women have given a statement to police.

The defendants will reappear in court on Wednesday for a hearing on the federal government's motion to detain them.