A Chinese man has been convicted of trafficking women to work as prostitutes in massage parlours in Hawaii and New York. He now faces deportation after pleading no contest.
Wei Li brought women from China to work as prostitutes in the two US states, prosecuting attorney Keith Kaneshiro said.
"This is the first time that a foreign national was prosecuted and convicted of trafficking foreign women into Hawaii for prostitution," Kaneshire added. Li had been bringing women to work in two Honolulu parlours: the Mayflower and Empire Relax.
The former manager of the now-defunct Mayflower had been a cooperating witness against Li, a spokesperson said.
Biyu Situ, who ran the phoney massage parlour, had attempted to bribe federal agents for protection after two Chinese women were arrested for prostitution at the business.
At her trial, recordings were produced of her asking agents for the same protection as a friend of hers had allegedly been receiving, as well as help to bring in more women to be prostitutes.
A prostitution case against Situ were dropped after she agreed to cooperate with the police against Li.