SEVERAL Thai women who were promised jobs here, but were forced into prostitution instead were rescued by police in Cheras yesterday.

Officers from the Kuala Lumpur Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Society (D7) branch conducted raids at four locations from 1.45pm and managed to rescue 15 women, including a 15-year-old.

Commanding officer, Deputy Superintendent Razali Abu Samah, said the women had been brought in legally but had since been classified as overstayers as they had been kept virtual prisoners since they arrived.

He said the women were kept under 24-hour surveillance in secluded residential premises by their respective pimps and forced to entertain clients.

“We believe they were tricked by an employment agent about jobs in Malaysia and initial investigations found that some of them had been promised jobs as restaurant helpers.”

Razali said a raid was first conducted at an apartment unit in Taman Yulex, Cheras. There, police rescued three women. Then, at Awana Puri condominium in Taman Mutiara, the team found four Thai women locked inside.

Later, the team went to two townhouses at Taman Midah and saved another eight women after cutting through the grilles and breaking the locks.

“We also managed to arrest a suspect, aged 37, who tried to escape,” said Razali.

These raids were planned after a tip-off that prostitution were being conducted at the respective residences. Police had been observing the targets for several days and it is believed the women had been kept locked up for several weeks.

The pimps would solicit clients from elsewhere and the women would be brought out based on appointments.

“We believe that the women were not even being paid for their ‘services’ by their pimps,” said Razali. All 15 women and the suspect were taken to the KL police contingent headquarters for investigations.