Prostitute gang's Portsmouth '˜receptionist' sent to prison

A '˜RECEPTIONIST' who took calls for a sex line offering '˜Oriental' prostitutes has been jailed.

Sunday, 13th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:18 am
The woman has been jailed for her part in running brothels

Portsmouth Crown Court heard police arrested Mei Lim of Church Road, Portsmouth, after raiding two addresses used as brothels.

Lim, 63, claimed she made £3 from each booking she made for clients to visit two addresses.

Police had raided the two addresses finding two women, and a third woman during a subsequent raid, aged in their 30s and 40s, along with a male ‘caretaker’ in each property.

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Officers linked Lim, who overstayed her visitor’s visa after coming to the UK from Beijing in 2011, to the numbers used to call the women and men. The numbers were advertised online and in ‘various publications’.

At her home in a room in Church Road, where she was looking after an elderly man in exchange for food and accommodation, police found two phones and a diary noting services.

Phones were found linked to prostitution in other cities but Lim denied any knowledge of these groups.

Jailing Lim for seven months, judge Timothy Mousley QC said: ‘The operation involved three girls who were aged between their mid-30s and mid-40s and two premises in Southampton.

‘I’m satisfied that you knew how the operation worked. You played a significant part in it and it could not have operated without what you did. You managed the phones, the sex lines, you kept the diary, and at times you allocated premises and girls to the clients.’

He said it was ‘impossible’ to know how much she made in the three months she was involved in 2017.

Mitigating, Adrienne Knight said Lim had lost around £20,000 – £4,000 a year – gambling but was not addicted. None of the other people caught in police raids were prosecuted.

Prosecutor Martyn Booth said the addresses in Sirocco Court and Hatherley Mansions, in Southampton, had ‘hallmarks’ of being used by organised crime groups.

Asked why no-one else was prosecuted, a Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘We conducted searches at addresses in 2017, but no offences were identified or disclosed at that time.’