a group of coins and paper money

A brothel owner earned 340,000 Swiss francs by employing illegal Chinese sex workers

A brothel owner and her partner are currently standing trial at the District Court of Kulm in Aargau Canton.

The 50-year-old Chinese woman and her 59-year-old Swiss partner, who own 5 brothels, along with a 59-year-old Swiss woman working as a secretary, are charged with exploiting vulnerable Chinese sex workers.

According to the Aargau cantonal prosecutor’s office, the prostitutes were unlawfully residing in Switzerland, a fact that the brothel owners allegedly attempted to conceal. Instead of obtaining legal residence permits, they provided them with counterfeit identity documents belonging to other Asian women, taking advantage of the difficulty in visually distinguishing Asians from Europeans.

The sex workers paid a fixed amount and 40 percent of their earnings to the brothel owner

The sex workers had to pay a deposit of 2,000 Swiss francs and a monthly rent of 600 to 1000 Swiss francs to use the fake identity documents. They also had to contribute 40 percent of their earnings, resulting in the operators profiting around 340,000 Swiss francs between 2012 and 2017.

The Chinese sex workers were also tracked by surveillance cameras and subjected to stricter rules compared to the European sex workers.

The brothel owner did not confess anything to the police

The 59-year-old Swiss defendant declined to provide any statements, while his partner answered all questions. She said that the money for the fake documents always went to the real owners of the IDs, and she and her partners kept nothing from the money. Regarding the regulations, she said that they were set by the women themselves.

The secretary also did not confess anything about the fake IDs, but said that the sex workers were always treated well. As she said, they even accompanied them to medical appointments, provided them with medication, or went on outings with them.

The lawyer of the defendants also rejected the accusation of exploitation, as he said, because of the sex workers were treated well the whole time. He also said that the cameras were installed solely for security purposes.

The illegal Chinese sex workers were found in 2017 when authorities discovered the misuse of documents. The verdict is expected in a week. The prosecution is seeking a three-year prison sentence and deportation for the Chinese woman, while requesting a two-year suspended sentence for her partner and the secretary.


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