Police have sent papers to prosecutors on a Thai woman suspected of violating immigration law by illegally brokering Thai nationals to massage parlors in South Korea, the Justice Ministry said Thursday.
The special investigation team at the Korea Immigration Service has arrested and recommended an indictment against the 30-year-old woman.
With the help of a South Korean accomplice, she introduced dozens of Thai women, who entered South Korea on tourist visas, to massage parlors from September last year to May this year and took tens of millions won as fees for the brokering, the ministry said.
Whenever the woman introduced a masseuse to a massage shop, she was paid 1.5 million won (around $1,333) from the masseuse and 500,000 won to 1.1 million won from the shop.
The Thai is also suspected of having arranged a fake marriage with a South Korean man in his 50s to allow her to remain in South Korea over the long term. She paid the man about 8 million won for the marriage.
The police have sent the two Korean accomplices to prosecution without detention.
According to the ministry's statistics, the number of Thai nationals staying in South Korea came to 194,000 as of November, about a two-fold increase from the 101,000 recorded in late 2016.
Under the visa arrangements, Thai visitors are allowed to enter South Korea with a maximum stay of 90 days per visit without a visa.