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Eight Chinese women living in Florida have been arrested in connection with the international sex-trafficking sting that resulted in New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with two counts of solicitation.
Lan Yun Ma, 49, and Yaping Ren, 27, of Orlando, Lixia Zhu, 48, of Stuart, Yan Xu, 51, of Sebastian, and Ruimei Li, 48, Hua Zhang, 58, and Lei Wang, 39, all of Jupiter have all been arrested as a result of an eight-month-long investigation into a human trafficking operation.
Marin - County - Sheriff - William - Snyder
Marin County Sheriff William Snyder said that authorities were in the process of seizing $2 million to $3 million in assets related to the trafficking scheme, and that investigators had been following as much as $20 million moving in and out of China.
'The tentacles of this go from here to New York to China, in Florida from here [Marin County] to Orange County,' Snyder told USA Today.
Spas - Florida - Men - People - Probe
Multiple spas in Florida have now been closed, and at least 100 men and 200 people in total have been implicated in the probe which authorities said was tied to prostitution through massage parlors where women were being treated as victims rather than paid sex workers.
The women, who largely speak only Mandarin or Cantonese and no English, are believed to have come to the US on temporary work visas, finding themselves indebted to the the brokers who helped them reach America under the false belief that legitimate work awaited them.
Investigation - July - Health - Department - Detective
The investigation began in July, when the Health Department tipped of a detective that there appeared to be human trafficking taking place at a massage parlor.
'It was clear that multiple women were working and living inside the spas. They were cooking on the back steps of the business,' Snyder said.
'They - Massage - Parlor - Massage - Tables
'They were sleeping in the massage parlor on the massage tables.'
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