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Liu Lirong charged with trafficking

By Tevita Motulalo NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Taimi Media Network, Feb. 1, 2011) – In Tonga, a Chinese woman accused of trafficking Chinese girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation, has testified in the Supreme Court on Monday morning, denying all allegations.

Forty five year-old Liu Lirong of Liaoning Province, just outside and North of Beijing, is charged under the Transnational Crimes Act, for allegedly trafficking two Chinese girls in their late twenties and early thirties, into Tonga and then forcing them into prostitution.

Liu is pleading not guilty to seven counts related to trafficking people for sexual exploitation: four separate charges for trafficking persons, two for trading prostitution, and one for operating a brothel.

Her victims allege that Liu persuaded them with "lies" into coming to Tonga and earn very good money in her businesses yet ended up forced into prostitution for several months, serving Asian visitors in Tonga while sharing an apartment with the accused in Halaleva.

On the stand, Liu Lirong denied beating, slapping, or threatening the girls into staying as prostitutes in her apartment in Halaleva.

She was asked by her counsel Laki Niu if she threatened one of the victims, Du Chun Juan, by ordering her to go back into the room and sleep with the men, otherwise she would be killed and thrown into the sea.

Through the interpreter Liu said: "Its all lies".

The Crown stumbled upon the case during the trial of Si Quen Di for assaulting and causing grievous bodily harm to the same two victims, where a Chinese man assaulted them with a sharp weapon causing serious injuries to the victims.

It was revealed and alleged in that trial that the reason for the assault was that the victims refused to go back to their life of prostitution which they lived, under their alleged pimp Liu Lirong.

The defense plans to call at least two more witnesses to the stand. Justice Robert Shuster presides over the trial.

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