The sex trade has moved from a tradition of hiding behind dark alleys while waiting for hours for customers - to a more sophisticated presence, the Internet.
KANGAR, Malaysia - The sex trade has moved from a tradition of hiding behind dark alleys while waiting for hours for customers - to a more sophisticated presence, the Internet.
Malaysian girls, not forgetting foreign women who are in Malaysia claiming to be students at local colleges, are now using social network sites, including Facebook, Tagged and Hi5 to source for potential clients.
Checks by the New Straits Times, upon befriending some of these women on the social websites, discovered that many of them, claiming to be students from the higher learning institutions, "marketed" their services online to earn quick bucks to buy luxury items or other desired items, including the latest handphones, laptops, and tablets.
The girls charge their clients between RM250 and RM800 per session. And if you are a sweet-talker and manage to charm one, she could be all yours for RM400 -- for the entire 24 hours.
Some girls even demanded for RM3,000 if their "services" were required for a longer time.
Bukit Aman secret societies, gambling and vice principal assistant director Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan said the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission were closely watching such activities.
Abdul Jalil said the department had received numerous complaints from the public and was aware of such news being highlighted by the media.
"We are monitoring the movements of these 'service providers'.
Police statistics revealed 25,113 foreign women, believed to be prostitutes, were detained from 2010 up to June this year during Ops Noda and of the number, about 30 per cent had student visas.
Others detained, he said included foreigners working as guest relations officers and spa workers who offered sexual services to patrons.
Those detained, aged from 18 to 30, had admitted to befriending their clients via the Internet.
Women from China topped the list with 13,513 arrests, followed by Vietnamese nationals (4,036), Thais (3,876), Indonesians (3,041) and women from the Philippines, (2,110).
The remainder were local women, and Chinese girls topped the list at 420.
Abdul Jalil said police were also monitoring reports of girls using social networks to cheat potential customers.
"They stop using their Facebook accounts after getting money from potential customers."
He said parents needed to keep a close eye on what their children did online.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said prostitution was an old trade but going online to source for clients was a modern method.
"The involvement of syndicates cannot be ruled out," he said.
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) student affairs director Associate Professor Dr Amy Azhar Mohd Arif said to curb students from getting involved in negative activities, UUM ensured that its students were fully involved in university activities.
"This will not give them time to think of other things except their studies and university activities. An idle mind is a devil's workshop.
"We know what is happening to our students. But we can't monitor them once they are outside the university."