8 policemen probed for allegedly harboring prostitution

8 policemen probed for allegedly harboring prostitution
# 21 April 2014 21:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Eight police officers in central China's Henan Province are being investigated over suspicions that they harbored the prostitution business of a local nightclub, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Zhou Tingxin, former deputy chief of the public security bureau of the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, and seven other police officers were placed under investigation on April 18, after the Royal No. 1 nightclub was found to have been engaged in the sex trade since its opening in August 2012, an official with the disciplinary inspection department of the city said on Monday.

Police raided the nightclub on Nov. 1, 2013 after five months' investigation, transferring 133 suspects for public prosecution and subsequently closing the venue.

Prostitution is illegal in China. However, many nightclubs and other entertainment venues or hotels offer prostitution. A large-scale crackdown, in which over 500 suspects were captured and 73 gangs busted across the country, came hours after media reports in February revealed that hotels in the southern city of Dongguan were offering sex services.

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South Korea's Park says conduct of ferry crew tantamount to murder

Baku-APA. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of some crew of a ferry that sank with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as a four-year-old video transcript showed the captain promoting the safety of the same route, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Sixty-four people are known to have died and 238 are missing, presumed dead, in the sinking of the Sewol ferry last Wednesday. Most of the victims are high school children.

Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and two other crew members were arrested last week on negligence charges, with prosecutors announcing four further arrests - two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer - on Monday.

Lee was also charged with undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down" while traversing a narrow channel. Several crew members, including the captain, left the ferry as it was sinking, ahead of the passengers, witnesses have said. Park said the crew's desertion was tantamount to murder. "Above all, the conduct of the captain and some crew members is unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated," she told aides.

Lee, the captain, said in a promotional video four years ago that the journey from the port city of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju was safe - as long as passengers followed the instructions of the crew. He also told a newspaper that he had been involved in a sea accident off Japan years before. The irony of the video is the crew ordered the passengers to stay put in their cabins as the ferry sank. As is customary in hierarchical Korean society, the orders were not questioned.

However, many of those who escaped alive either did not hear or flouted the instructions and were rescued as they abandoned ship. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing.

"Passengers who take our ship to and from Incheon and Jeju can enjoy a safe and pleasant trip and I believe it is safer than any other vehicle as long as they follow the instructions of our crew members," Lee said in the 2010 promotional video, according to transcripts broadcast by regional cable station OBS. He was not referring to the Sewol, which came into service on that route in 2013.

The Jeju Today newspaper interviewed Lee in 2004 when he spoke of close shaves at sea including passing through a typhoon and a previous sinking off Japan.

"The first ship I took was a log carrier vessel and it capsized near Okinawa. A helicopter from Japan's Self-Defence Force came and rescued me. Had it not been for their help, I wouldn't be here now."

The newspaper did not give further details.

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