Australian official who took bribes backs brothel crackdown

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Australian official who took bribes backs brothel crackdown

Postby sam » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:57 am

More proof that legal prostitution grows sexual slavery and makes it harder to prevent.

Official who took bribes backs brothel crackdown
Nick McKenzie and Maris Beck
March 7, 2011
The senior local government official at the centre of a bribery and prostitution racket investigation has called for an overhaul of Victoria's failed system of regulating and policing the illegal sex industry.

Ken Wolfe resigned as the City of Yarra's senior enforcement officer in December after being interviewed by police investigating allegations that he received bribes over a five-year period from two illegal brothel operators.

As The Saturday Age revealed, a police inquiry targeting multimillion-dollar prostitution rackets and human trafficking in Melbourne's inner north uncovered up to 24 illegal brothels operated by two crime syndicates, including one run by Mulgrave woman Xue Di Yan.

Mr Wolfe told The Age he had taken money from two men running illegal brothels to fuel his gambling addiction and said he expected to be charged by police with bribery offences.

But he also said he hoped the investigation of his case would expose the failed system of brothel regulation in Victoria. ''Something good has to come out of this. The problem is huge and Victoria is not doing anything about it,'' said Mr Wolfe, who worked with the City of Yarra since 1998.

Mr Wolfe said that local government officials - who play a key role combating illegal brothels by using planning laws - lacked the power and resources to have any impact and that other agencies, including the police and consumer affairs, often did nothing. He said hundreds of illegal brothels were being run by operators who knew authorities were unable or unwilling to shut them down.

''We would shut an illegal brothel down and it would open up five minutes later. It is a complete failure. I know I did the wrong thing and I should pay a price. But I am part of a bigger problem that no one is doing anything about. The laws must be changed,'' he said.

The call for reform has been backed privately by senior police and publicly by outreach service Project Respect, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and former federal police officer Chris Payne who ran Australia's first human trafficking investigations. Mr Payne said in Queensland, where brothels were regulated by a police prostitution taskforce, trafficking and illegal prostitution had been detected and prevented far better than in Victoria.

Jocelyn Snow, a former member of Victoria's Prostitution Control Board, who now owns a licensed brothel, said the illegal sex trade was ''out of control''.

''They've got to try to do something about it because it is just getting bigger and bigger,'' she said, accusing government agencies of inaction and blame-shifting.

Sue White, manager of sex worker support group Inner South Community Health Service, said she was seriously concerned for women in illegal brothels, who were at higher risk of STDs and violence.

The government is yet to detail its plans for sex industry reform, despite its pre-election acknowledgment that the enforcement system had failed and needed urgent change.

The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Michael O'Brien, has previously said Victoria Police should become the lead agency in tackling illegal sex work, although the police are yet to announce how their existing role will change. He said yesterday that the government was examining whether existing laws needed to be toughened.

The Age believes that Mr Wolfe received monthly payments over a five-year period from two Chinese men - Anton Lu and Tony Tang- who wanted him to tip them off about any raids on their illegal brothels in Melbourne's inner north. After he was arrested and interviewed by police in November, Mr Wolfe was told by police that the men were in fact part of two larger criminal syndicates.

In a further indication of the failure to control the illicit sex trade, many of the brothels raided by police as part of the operation targeting Mr Wolfe are still open or have shifted to new premises.

Mr Wolfe said that after planning requirements for massage parlours were relaxed in 2005 and local councils stopped using private investigators to prove parlours were offering sex, illegal brothels became almost impossible to shut down.

Mr Wolfe said he had discovered that licensed brothel owners were also running illegal brothels, and had retained their licences regardless.
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Trisha Baptie
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Re: Australian official who took bribes backs brothel crackdown

Postby MGO » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:00 pm

Sam, I wanted to post a follow up similar story from Australia, but cannot seem to do it.
I think there is something wrong with the permissions, so I will PM the article to you for posting.

Posting this short message seems to be ok for some unknown reason.
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Re: Australian official who took bribes backs brothel crackdown

Postby sam » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:20 pm

The word "s3xual" was triggering the spam filter.

And remember kids, if we try to block porn on the internet then feminists won't be able to freely communicate about s3xual violence. Better to leave things the way they are now with kids viewing porn and feminists having unobstructed freedom to dialogue. ... -not-work/

A COUNCIL building inspector received s3xual services as a gift from developers - and claimed overtime for the pleasure ... 6017409462

A COUNCIL building inspector received s3xual services as a gift from developers - and claimed overtime for the pleasure.

But far from viewing it as a bribe, Willoughby Council's Edward Karkowski told an inquiry into his behaviour that it was a "gesture of thank you", The Daily Telegraph reported.

Karkowski, who handles large commercial developments in the Chatswood CBD, appeared before the Independent Commission Against Corruption facing allegations of living a life of lunching on expensive meals, drinking $80 bottles of wine and receiving s3xual favours from a raft of women working at brothels, gifted to him by developers whose projects he was assessing.

Counsel assisting Kate Williams told the inquiry Mr Karkowski agreed not to report the Oriana Bath House for illegally offering s3xual services after he accepted free s3x and massages.

It was revealed in November that Oriana was operating as an illegal br0thel and promoting "happy ending" massages.

He said he was having a relationship with a girl called Tina at the bath house in July last year but said if Tina was not working, he would have s3x with other women. A phone tap revealed he had walked out of the brothel, boasting to a friend he "had my usual, Tina".

Mr Karkowski described the experience as: "Just a bit of pressure relief off the valve".

He told the inquiry he did not see the free s3x as a bribe or reward for special favours in not reporting the illegal brothel but "as a gesture of thank you".

After the phone tap was played, he admitted he claimed overtime for when he was at massage parlours.

Developer Sam Koura, due to give evidence this week, paid for Mr Karkowski to have long lunches, followed by massage services, the inquiry heard.

Mr Karkowski admitted going to lunch and to a massage parlour that offered s3xual services, , leaving at 11am and not returning to council offices until after 2pm.

"It was harmless in terms of what he asked me, I don't think he got any major benefits from it," Mr Karkowski said.

Phone taps revealed he gave confidential council documents to Mr Koura, backdated documents to protect other developers from fines and told them to underestimate construction costs to pay lower council fees.

Ms Williams said a great deal of trust had been given to Mr Karkowski, who was working with minimal supervision. Commissioner David Ipp said Mr Karkowski had demonstrated he was "quite prepared to bend the rules and lie" to help developers.

The hearing continues.
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