Tri was charged with “illegal arrest, custody or detention of people,” and “extortion of property,” the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court said on Friday.

Of Tri’s five accomplices, Phan Viet Hau, 29, and Phan Quoc Cuong, 37, were sentenced to 10 and nine years in jail on the same charges as Tri.

Tri’s wife, Phan Thi Yen, got four years for extortion of property, while the two others, Nguyen Minh Phuong, 40, and Nguyen Hoai Nhanh, 29, were sentenced to three years and one year, respectively, for illegal arrest, custody or detention of people.

According to the latest investigation results, the sex ring illegally detained 73 women who worked as masseuses for the “massage centers”.

According to the indictment, Tri and his staff recruited women as masseuses for five parlors in Ho Chi Minh City and the neighboring provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong beginning in 2005.

These women, who mainly came from rural areas, were forced to not only give massages, but also perform sexual acts on customers for up to 16 hours per day, usually from 9 am to 1 am.

If a guest complained about any of the women, the worker would be beaten or fined.

During the non-work hours, they were kept at Tri’s home, where he arranged guards to keep watch on them to prevent them from escaping.

The women had to sign a commitment that they would take only one leave for every six months of work, and that any breach of this regulation would be subject to a fine of VND24 million (US$1,133).

Anyone who wanted to quit had to pay VND15 million ($708). Some, who could not afford the money, attempted to run away, but were captured and beaten.

Anyone who refused to follow orders, or if a customer complained, would be beaten up or locked up without food in dog cages.

Unable to endure these sufferings, some fled and then reported their stories to the police. On December 6, 2008, the city Police raided Tan Hoang Phat and rescued 65 masseuses.

Tuoi Tre News - September 6, 2014