July 04: Prostitution Goes Hi-Tech in HCM City
Prostitution in Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam 's economic hub, is turning into a high-tech industry with more prostitutes using Internet chat rooms to make initial contact with clients to offer their services.
Internet cafés in downtown District 1 often have "VIP" private rooms for chatters, which are equipped with web cams, headphones and other modern equipment, according to a recent investigative report by local Thanh Nien daily.
In the middle of the night, these rooms are full of young females. They contact with Internet chatters in chat rooms using provocative language and behavior, the investigation claimed. They used web cams to reveal their bodies to males surfing the web looking for a girl. Some even undressed completely.
It only costs VND10,000 per hour to get a PC with a web cam, said a girl in an Internet café. She was able to expose her body for hours without any inhibition to attract clients. That's the way they like it, she said.
She was one of the many professional call girls offering sex services independently via the Internet at night in District 1.
In order to hang out with these "cam girls", clients have to spend several hundreds of thousand of Vietnamese dong, the report said.
After agreeing on a price, clients would pick up the girls they were chatting with at the cafes and would then find a hotel to continue their liaison.
Clients of the online sex services are often wealthy men, said the report. Dressed well, and smooth-talking with plenty of money, you can have lots of girls, said Tuan, one young playboy. Even juveniles are lured by the sex service.
Pictures of girls exposing their bodies could effortlessly be captured by Internet users, according to the report. They could easily be used for pornographic material, it said.
There has been no recent report on the exact number of prostitutes doing business in the city recently, but statistics from the Police Ministry show that the number of street girls in the city rose by 24.3% on-year in 2002 compared to only 3.1% in 1998.
Unofficial statistics counted some 10,000-15,000 girls who were working as prostitutes in Ho Chi Minh City in 2002. (Young People Online Jul 20)