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By Gemma Q. Casas

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Mar. 3) – There has been a sudden increase in prostitution activities in Garapan following the recent shutdown of three garment factories, according to Lt. Gov. Diego T. Benavente.

Benavente, the former head of the anti-prostitution task force, said authorities have noted a sudden increase in the number of women suspected of engaging in prostitution.

"It seems that their number is continually increasing," Benavente told Variety. "The women that we see running around Garapan — we’re trying to figure out where they are coming from."

Benavente said the Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement agencies, are constantly monitoring Garapan in an effort to stamp out prostitution.

"The AGO, once again, through the help of other law enforcement agencies, is going to Garapan because of the increase of problems again...and we’re getting to the root of the problem," he said.

Most prostitutes on Saipan are believed to be garment workers.

March 3, 2005

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