A dog breeder who ran a £150,000 prostitution ring to fund a life of luxury has been jailed for four years.

Hong Chin, 46, illegally trafficked a string of women from China and South Korea to work as £100-an-hour escorts in hotels across the south of England and Wales.

His operation was described by a judge as a "sexual conveyor belt" with one victim revealing how she had sex with as many as 10 men a day.

Police found more than £150,000 was paid into bank accounts over two years, helping him and two co-defendants fund a life of luxury that included private school fees and exclusive golf club membership.

He was sentenced to four years in prison at the Old Bailey on Thursday (26 October).

Two other members of the gang – Chin's ex-partner, Li Wei Gao, and his lover Ting Li Lu – are due to be sentenced next week.

"You led a law-abiding life, making a comfortable living by honest means, but I'm afraid I think you became greedy," Judge Philip Katz QC told Chin during sentencing, the Evening Standard reported.

"It seems to me this was a sustained, cynical and organised exploitation of women whose circumstances meant at least some of them were vulnerable. Over a period of years, you took your share of the sex workers' earnings."

Describing the operation as a "sexual conveyor belt", Judge Katz said Chin had gained a reputation as a "boss" in the illegal sex trade.

He advertised trafficked women as prostitutes online and took a cut of their earnings after they met with clients in budget hotels.

In total, Sussex Police identified 19 victims – all from China and South Korea – who were exploited by the three-person gang between February 2013 and June 2015.

They were sent to perform sexual services in hotels all over southern England and Wales, including Maidstone, Gatwick, Cardiff, Brighton, Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Guildford, Southampton, Woking and Exeter.

At the same time, Chin ran a bulldog breeding kennel on a country estate in Esher, Surrey, where Gao lived in a converted barn with their daughter.

Believed to have been born in Malaysia, he lived with Lu in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey and would even judge local dog competitions.

Police first became aware of the prostitution network in February 2015 when one of the victims reported being debt-bonded.

Investigators became suspicious and gathered evidence from mobile phones, adult websites and booking records. They eventually made four arrests.

hong chin
Hong Chin bred bulldogs at the same time as operating a prostitution ring Facebook

CCTV footage seized by police showed the defendants escorting women to various hotels around the country.

One of the victims gave evidence to the court and revealed how she was forced to have sex with up to 10 men a day – with half her earnings then given to her handlers.

Prosecutors said it was "almost impossible for them to escape" the sex worker life they had been forced into.

The victims were believed to have been debt-bonded to traffickers in China. Many rejected support offered by the UK authorities and all but one – the woman who gave evidence in court – returned to their home countries.

During the trial, the fourth person charged in connection with the case, Hong Kong national and London taxi driver Wing Yeun, 41, was found not guilty of all charges against him.

Chin will serve half of his four-year sentence in prison, with the remaining two years served on licence.

He was also made subject to a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order which bans him from: possessing a passport or identity documents in someone else's name, other than family members; arranging travel for anyone other than family members; and arranging hotel accommodation for anyone other than family members.

Detective Inspector Andy Richardson, of Sussex Police, said: "I'm delighted with the sentence and I'm delighted we were successful in our application for a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order against Chin, which will stop him exploiting vulnerable women again.

"It also sends out a clear message that this sort of activity will not be tolerated, and that anyone caught doing so will be dealt with robustly.

"This has been a complex and lengthy investigation where vulnerable women were trafficked into the UK for the purposes of prostitution. Often the women were moved to different towns around the South East where hotel rooms were booked for them, and then they were told who they would be seeing and what services they had to offer; they had no say in any of this."

Kevin Thomson, from the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "This was an organised operation designed to traffic women into prostitution, as shown by the variety of bank accounts used to run it and the sheer amount of funds it generated. These elements helped to provide compelling evidence of what these defendants were doing.

"The gang exploited vulnerable women, putting them to work in situations which exposed them to serious potential risks. Once the women were caught up in the prostitution ring, it was invariably almost impossible for them to escape the life they had been forced into.

"All the time, they were then earning what turned out to be huge sums of money for the defendants, who were responsible for running the operation without any regard for the women's wellbeing."