Japanese chef held for having sex with underage girls - Representational image PROOffice of Public Affairs/ Flickr Commons

A Japanese chef, who is accused of having sex with underage girls in Jakarta, Indonesia, has been arrested.

South Jakarta Police spokesman Purwanta said that the 49-year-old accused, Akira Ando, alias Gonzaburou, was arrested on Saturday, 30 December, on suspicion of having sex with two minor girls, aged 11 and 13. He paid two million rupiah ($148, £109) for each girl. The victims reportedly work as street vendors near Ando's restaurant, the Japan Times reported.

Local media reports stated that the case came to light while authorities were conducting an investigation into an organisation that sold underage girls to foreign nationals.

"Police arrested the perpetrator to follow up a report from a mother of one of the victims," Purwanta said, adding the accused has been charged under the 2014 Law on the Protection of Children "for persuading a child to perform obscene acts".

If found guilty, the Japanese national could face up to 15 years in jail and fine up to five million rupiah.

Ando's arrest came a day after an alleged pimp, who goes by the name Mamih D, was held. According to reports, the accused had allegedly contacted Mamih every time he wanted to meet underage victims.

"Mamih D then brought the children to a hotel that she and Ando had already agreed upon," South Jakarta Police chief Comr. Mardiaz was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post.

The latest arrest came nearly ten days after police arrested three teenagers and a 54-year-old pimp suspected of being involved in a child prostitution syndicate. Authorities are now searching for other people running the business and their foreign clients due to allegations that illegal sex trade is on the rise in the country.