Alleged sex worker in Bay court after sting
AN ALLEGED Chinese sex worker accused of servicing clients from an Esplanade motel while on a refugee bridging visa, has fronted court.
Ling Ma, 49, was arrested during a Wide Bay tactical crime sting, targeting illegal prostitution and brothels in the region.
Documents before the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court allege undercover police called a number they suspected of being linked to a prostitution syndicate on September 16.
The woman who answered sounded as thought she "was of Asian decent but spoke fluent English" and advised she was working from a unit at Hervey Bay's Pine Lodge Motel, offering a rate of $180 per hour for a "full service - a common term police understood to describe "masturbation, oral sex and intercourse".
When the nominated officer arrived at 7.30pm that night, he was allegedly greeted by an "Asian woman dressed in lingerie who directed him to the bedroom of the unit".
After allegedly having his offer of paid services accepted, the officer identified himself and arrested Ms Ma who "had very limited understanding" of the English language.
Interviews conducted via an interpreter allegedly revealed Ms Ma had been operating under the name of "Cindy".
A further search uncovered $5000 concealed in a vacuum bag which Ms Ma allegedly confirmed was proceeds of her work which she had performed to pay off her debts and her friends' debts and said she had sent money "home" to China.
She fronted the Hervey Bay court on Thursday charged with knowingly participating in the provision of prostitution and possessing tainted property.
The charges were transferred to Cleveland next month for sentencing.