Hanoi, Vietnam - A 22-year-old Vietnamese woman singer was sentenced five years in prison for acting as a mediator for prostitutes and sex buyers, local newspaper Saigon Liberation reported Wednesday.
The People's Court in southern Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday handed down the sentence on Anh who started prostituting herself and then introduced other local women, who were mostly lesser well-known singers and models, to customers paying for sex as early as November 2003. The prostitutes got $100-200 US dollars each from a buyer, and Anh took a brokerage fee of $18-50 dollars.
The singer and two other local women were caught red-handed when they were having sex with customers in a hotel in the city in July 2004.
To date, Vietnam has compiled records on about 13,000 prostitutes.
Vietnamese models and actresses working in the sex industry is a continuing issue in Vietnam, Asian Sex Gazzete reported in May that police discovered and arrested seven models and actresses, which included Anh, for their involvement in a prostitution ring in Ho Chi Minh City (see: Prostitution ring of models, actresses uncovered in Vietnam).
The models and actresses were found to be charging between $100-$500 USD for sex from their customers, far above the average rate charged by brothels of $20-30 USD per session. In a country such as Vietnam which struggles with poverty, the draw of fast money in such large amounts has proven to be very tempting for women who like to live an above average lifestyle.