16 arrested in China for forcing girls into prostitution

Sixteen people have been arrested from central China's Hubei Province for allegedly forcing more than 30 girls, mostly underage students, into prostitution.

Beijing: Sixteen people have been arrested from central China's Hubei Province for allegedly forcing more than 30 girls, mostly underage students, into prostitution.

The gang allegedly lured victims primarily via online chat rooms, asking them to come to the city of Yichang for "dating" before forcing them into prostitution.

Victims were aged between 14 and 19, according to police in Xiangyang City.

Thirteen victims have been freed since the start of the investigation in January, when the first case was reported by a high school girl's parents.

Four members of the gang are still being hunted down, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The public has been put on high alert after a spate of sexual assault reports involving young women in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, a 22-year-old college student in Shandong was freed after being abducted and held as a sex slave for days by an unlicensed "taxi" driver.  

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