Generic photo of an escort in Sydney. brothel prostitute sex worker
Generic photo of an escort in Sydney. brothel prostitute sex worker

Inside alleged large-scale escort ring

A GOLD Coast suburban home was used as a front for a large-scale illegal prostitution ring where "models" were hired for $1000 a night, it is alleged.

The Coomera property was marketed as model promotions agency VIPSocial, but police allege it was used to book escorts for jobs from Byron Bay to north of Brisbane.

It is alleged clients were charged $250 for half-hour with a prostitute, $400 an hour and $750 for two hours, with half of all profits going to VIPSocial.

Twenty-five people appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday in relation to the alleged ring.

Police claim the illegal agency ran from October 2016 to July this year.

Accused ringleader Shawn Moy, 47, ran from cameras after facing court charged with knowingly carrying on a business of providing illegal prostitution.

Shawn Moy is the alleged ringleader. Picture: Supplied
Shawn Moy is the alleged ringleader. Picture: Supplied

Moy also was charged with knowingly participating in the provision of prostitution at Capalaba and elsewhere in 2015 and possession of tainted property.

He was bailed to reappear in court on November 29.

Moy is the sole director of VIP Social, which presents itself as a model-promotions agency supplying "glamour models".

Moy, who describes himself as a photographer, used 23 phone numbers to advertise women who were available as independent sex workers, it is alleged.

Police sting Operation Romeo Manoeuve used undercover police officers to pose as clients and book escorts to motels in Surfers Paradise and Springwood, it is alleged.

 

Undercover police officers posted as clients to book escorts, it is alleged.
Undercover police officers posted as clients to book escorts, it is alleged.

Police allegedly found six mobile phones, a roster, vehicles used for transportation, a computer with software for booking appointments and a range of business documents.

Police will allege the business was operating under the facade of a legitimate business, with documentation uncovered including employment contracts and worksheets.

A woman, 19, was placed on a $600 six-month good behaviour bond, after pleading guilty to engaging in prostitution.

The woman had worked as a night driver for escorts from June last year and then worked as a prostitute for four months last year, the prosecutor told Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Her lawyer told the court the young woman was 18 and had just left school when she became involved with the escort business.

A 19-year-old woman was placed on a good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to prostitution.
A 19-year-old woman was placed on a good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to prostitution.

He said she had answered an ad on Gumtree for a job as a driver for the personal security industry.

When she arrived at work she was told to drive women to particular locations and after doing 200 shifts she came to understand the nature of the business.

The court was told the young woman became involved in prostitution after she was "manipulated and preyed upon" by an older person in the business.

She had been convinced that there was great potential to earn money and pay off her significant debts, the lawyer said.

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The lawyer said the young woman, who was now working in a Gold Coast shop and living with her supportive parents, felt remorseful, highly embarrassed and petrified at finding herself in court on such a charge.

References and a psychological report were tendered. The magistrate did not record a conviction.

Two other men were charged with knowingly carrying on the business of providing illegal prostitution.

More than two dozen people have been charged.
More than two dozen people have been charged.

Most of those charged, including some alleged customers, had their cases adjourned.

Senior Sergeant Kevin Groenhuijzen said the investigation outcome was significant as senior figures had been apprehended.

"This result highlights how we are continuing to target and apprehend those who allegedly operate outside of the law in Queensland.

"Dismantling this operation was significant and sends a clear message of our commitment to targeting these alleged offenders," he said.