Overnight raids on spa facilities in Central and West Jakarta have resulted in the detention of 50 women suspected to be sex workers, an official said on Wednesday.
Police also detained two men suspected of being involved in the sex trade industry: Endang Saefullah from the Emporium spa in Pecenongan, Central Jakarta, and Asep Riyadi of the Golden Crown spa in Glodok, West Jakarta. Police detained 26 women at the Emporium and 24 women at the Golden Crown.
Police later released all of the women, saying that they were victims of human trafficking and the sex trade.
“We are concentrating more on efforts to break the chain of prostitution and human trafficking,” said Muhammad Iriawan, head of the general crimes unit at the Jakarta Police.
“So, our target is to bring to trial the management and agents of women who are put to work as lady companions or prostitutes. We think of the women as victims, so we let them go with a warning.
“They are all very young, with their average age about 20.”
Iriawan said the suspected agents could be charged with human trafficking, which carries a sentence of up to six years in jail.
Harry, manager of the Golden Crown spa facilities, declined to comment.
City police have launched a campaign to crack down on prostitution in the capital, raiding entertainment centers and rounding up suspected sex workers.
According to the city administration, police raids on several hotels, spas and nightclubs in the capital have netted 238 women, including 55 young foreign women, suspected of working as prostitutes.
However, the women were only taken in for questioning.
Most of the foreign nationals were from China, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Twelve Indonesians working for a number of employment agencies have also been declared suspects.