In Seattle, Bellevue police and the FBI announced Thursday that they’d rescued 12 twelve women and arrested 14 men as they shut down multiple brothels during a bust of a major human trafficking ring that had promoted itself through the Internet and social media. Police say the women, mostly from Korea, were brought to America and forced into prostitution to pay debts, often being held against their will, with a local prosecutor claiming some of the women were forced to work every day for up to 14 hours, servicing up to 10 customers per day. Police shut down two websites — thereviewboard.net and kgirldelights.com — which were being used to rate, discuss, and promote the prostitution of the women. Eleven of the men arrested either ran thereviewboard.net or were part of a group of businessmen, known as “The League,” that ran kgirldelights.com.
In a twist to the tale, prostitutes gathered to protest the closing of thereviewboard.net in the lobby of the sheriff’s office, saying that the site allowed them to safely reach and assess clients. The sheriff, however, emphasized that the website had been promoting exploitation: “If anyone thinks this operation we took down is a victimless crime,” said the sheriff, “they’re delusional.”
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