Illegal brothels sprouting across Australia

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Melbourne, Nov 15 (ANI): Illegal brothels are flourishing across NSW with at least 500 undercover sex shops in the state, outstripping legal brothels by at least two to one, according to experts.

But figures from the Government's Interagency Brothels Taskforce show just 29 "brothel closure orders" were issued on illegal sex premises between July 2007 and March 2010.

Legitimate operations are even closing their doors, saying they can no longer compete.

Last week a brothel boom across NSW was revealed with more than 270 legal brothels reported in just a third of the state's council areas. But industry insiders believe illegal brothels are presenting an even greater challenge.

"Many illegal operations generate up to $30,000 per day in cash, which is easily laundered through casinos and other gaming facilities," the Daily Telegraph quoted a former ICAC and National Crime Authority organized crime investigator as saying.

"Many prostitutes, particularly at illegal brothels, are believed to be drawn into the sex industry by way of debt bondage arrangements," the investigator said.

Overseas sex workers - particularly from South-East Asia - were being assisted in fraudulently gaining local student visas.

"They then work as prostitutes," the investigator said.

"Some women are held by the brothel until they earn a minimum contract amount - typically for $25,000-$40,000. The worry is the debt bondage sex workers are often subjected to squalid, unhygienic living and working conditions, with many girls often being forced to live and work within brothels," the investigator said. (ANI)

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