Filipino police successfully uncovered a hidden torture room in a brothel operating under a gambling license. The operation, led by the Ministry of Justice, raided a six-story building rented by Smart Web Technology in Metro Manila early today. Over 700 employees, mostly Filipinos, Chinese, and Vietnamese, were arrested in the operation. The Philippine Anti-Crime Commission (PAOCC) Executive Director, Gilbert Cruz, stated that the police also found handcuffs, a whip, baseball bats, rods, tasers, wooden and toy guns, believed to be used for torturing troublesome clients and at least two foreign sex workers hidden behind the name of Smart Web. The torture room was used against those who didn’t pay for the brothel rooms or disturbed the prostitutes. The company was also found to be operating “love scam” and crypto currency fraud. Nine senior executives of Smart Web, including four Chinese nationals and one Filipino, were among those detained and will face human trafficking and torture charges. Police records show that a rescued Chinese victim claimed to have been kidnapped and sold for 500,000 pesos (RM42,147). Another victim from China stated that she was forced to work 12 to 15 hours a day for over a year. Deputy Secretary of Justice, Nicolas Felix Ty, confirmed that the identified crime in the premises was sex trafficking. He also mentioned the presence of a private karaoke room for additional services and different options for sexual services. Smart Web had obtained licenses to operate as an offshore gaming operator known as Pogo through websites named Freego Computer Gaming OPC and Xushen Technology.
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