The manager of a dating agency and two others have been arrested for allegedly soliciting a woman for sex work at a Las Vegas hotel, in what Tokyo police believe could be part of a larger operation.
Haruka Funaki, the 37-year-old head of a dating club facilitating meetings between partners, and two others were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of violating the Employment Security Act by recruiting for employment harmful to public morals.
The three allegedly solicited a woman in her 30s for prostitution work abroad by sending texts via messaging app Line that said, “Dating in Las Vegas, 1.8 million yen ($12,200) guaranteed,” and “Enter the country saying you are there for travel.”
Funaki has denied the allegation, saying she solicited the woman without knowing it was for prostitution, while the remaining two have admitted to the charges, the police said.
They suspect the three were dispatching multiple women abroad for sex work with the help of accomplices in the United States in what they believe to be an organized operation.
After engaging in prostitution in Las Vegas in May last year, the woman went to local police saying two Asian men, who showed her to a hotel, threatened they would kill her if she divulged any information to outsiders, according to the police.
U.S. authorities who took the woman into custody contacted Tokyo police about the case via Japan’s National Police Agency.
The woman allegedly has a history of engaging in sex work in countries such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia. The police said they are investigating whether a separate group of suspects is connected to these cases.
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