Cops bust illegal sex workers at Mackay motel
TWO Asian sex workers were busted illegally plying their trade from a Mackay CBD motel as part of an ongoing police sting targeting illicit prostitution.
Last month officers received information two women were conducting illegal sex work from the Paradise Motel Mackay.
On July 29, police raided the Peel St address and found Ling Yao in a room with a man, who said he paid $200 for sex.
"(She) was questioned regarding her work as a prostitute and she stated she only offered massage … at a cost between $60 and $120," Prosecutor Sergeant Marcus Hahn said.
"When questioned regarding unused condoms, she stated she offered oral sex for an extra fee."
Yao also had $730 cash she said had been made from customers.
Police found Pu Liu in room six at the motel.
When asked about her involvement in sex work, she said was "new to the business" and unsure if it was what she wanted to do.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard though how Liu had been busted for the same offence seven years ago.
Sgt Hahn said both women were found with a printout headed "rules for working girls" written in both English and Chinese.
A text message on Liu's phone related to a client paying $200 for sexual services earlier that day.
"When questioned about the $200 (she) stated she had already spent it," Sgt Hahn said.
Both women, who needed a mandarin translator for their case, pleaded guilty to participating in the provision of prostitution by another person and possessing tainted property over cash and a phone.
Magistrate Damien Dwyer did not accept Liu was "new to the business" or that she was "unsure this is what you want to do".
"Because you were before the courts for the exact same offence in 2013," Mr Dwyer said.
Legal Aid Queensland defence solicitor Danny Yarrow, who represented both women, said Liu had not engaged in this type of behaviour since meeting her boyfriend seven years ago.
"She instructs that she developed a gambling addiction and is currently $15,000 in debt," Mr Yarrow said, adding she wanted to work in real estate and pushed for no conviction to be recorded.
The court heard Yao, who has no criminal history, lived in Sydney and had travelled to Mackay for work after the massage parlour where she worked full-time closed down three months ago.
The maximum penalty for illegal prostitution was up to three years jail for the first offence and up to five years for a second offence.
"Any rational person would understand the need to regulate this sector having regard to the possibilities of organised crime and health implications," Mr Dwyer said.
"The parliament has set up procedures to regulate the sector and a strong deterrent must go out to anyone that wishes to circumvent that."
To Liu he said, "If this is the career path you want to follow you must ensure you follow the requirements of the legislation" and fined her $3000. A conviction was recorded.
Yao was fined $2000 and no conviction was recorded.