Angolan and Chinese police jointly broke up a criminal ring that abducted Chinese women and forced them into a life of prostitution, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency. China's Ministry of Public Security told China Daily Wednesday that police rescued 19 Chinese women.
The operation, which targeted women from poor socio-economic backgrounds, allegedly promised to pay for their plane tickets and visa applications in exchange for employment as a servant or foot masseur.
But as soon as they arrived in Angola, they were put under strict surveillance and had their passports taken away, forcing them into sex slavery to pay back their traffickers, according to China Daily.
"Although we found we had been cheated, the local public security was in disorder and we didn't have enough money to go back to China. We were mentally and physical exhausted, almost desperate. Finally we had to obey them," said Li Jie, one of the women victims from Sichuan province, in an interview with China Daily.
Police arrested 11 suspects in Angola last month, while another five suspects were later arrested in China, according to Xinhuanet, the English language version of the Xinhua News Agency.
According to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, China is both a source of and destination for human trafficking. Other trafficking destinations include Thailand, Malaysia, Africa, Europe and America.