A devastated father in Shenzen, southeast China, shared the horrifying moment when he discovered that his 13-year-old daughter had been lured into prostitution.
Shanghaiist reported that the father, who the media has referred to as Gong, checked his daughter’s WeChat instant messaging account, where he found an exchange between the girl and her boss, 18-year-old Jin Yiwen.
Gong began monitoring his daughter’s cellphone messages in April, when he noticed her behavior had changed.
"She became easily irritated, often played hooky and stole money," said Gong. "Recently, she hasn't been coming home even when we call her."
On July 31, Gong’s heart broke when he stumbled upon a WeChat conversation between his daughter and Jin.
"He knows you charged 2,000 RMB ($320) to sleep with my boss, so I don't think he would be willing to pay you 3,000 RMB ($485) (for your service)," Jin wrote.
"How much (should I charge then)?" his daughter responded.
"You can charge 2,000 RMB ($320) per night," answered Jin.
After he found the exchange, Gong contacted police and arranged to meet with Jin and male ringleader of the sex trafficking circle. Police followed and arrested the two.
Between four and 10 girls from his daughter’s middle school had also been lured into prostitution, Gong told reporters. Some have returned home, but not all of them.
"The job is easy," Gong’s daughter told reporters, explaining that after handing some of the money over, she could pocket close to $32 per client.
“Sometimes, I get extra tips,” the 13-year-old added.
The girl would tell customers she was 15 years old when asked, but clients usually did not inquire about her age, she said.
“I (have two clients) per day,” she said. “It’s pretty good business.”
The Daily Mail reports that five people were arrested in May in Shenzen, after police tracked a prostitution ring that used WeChat messenger.
The leaders of the organization used instant messenger accounts to sell their prostitutes, whom they called actresses and models.