The Tokyo Metropolitan Police revealed today that two adult men had been arrested after they were caught using the popular smartphone application Line to recruit teenage girls to work as prostitutes. 37 year old Eiji Kato and 51 year old Kenichi Sekiguchi not only used the chat app to find girls, but male customers as well, followed by arranging meet-ups at nearby hotels.
Police say the pair solicited their customers by posting suggestive photos of young girls on internet bulletin boards. Starting in November of last year, they had a group of 10 teenage girls working for them. Investigators revealed that some of the girls would sit inside public places, such as fast food restaurants, where there were lots of windows, in Tokyo districts including Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro. This allowed the customers to “browse the selection” from the streets by merely looking through the windows. The would then text their choice to Kato and Sekiguchi, and depart for a pre-arranged hotel to wait for the girl. In addition to two customers who also busted, the two suspects were found using girls as young as 15 to 17 years old.
Sekiguchi was said to have admitted to police that he thought using the Line app was a clever way to avoid detection by the authorities. While that didn’t work out so well, the two men and the teens managed to collect 15 million yen (approx. 150,000 dollars) since starting their operation in November, with 40% of the funds going to Kato and Sekiguchi.
[via Tokyo Reporter]