NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence police say they have closed down four brothels since January while investigating the trafficking of Latin American women and girls for sex.
Police tell the Providence Journal the women, most from Mexico or Guatemala, are placed in residential apartments in the city's West End and Silver Lake neighborhoods. The apartments are furnished with little more than mattresses.
Customers find them through fake business cards known as "tarjetas." Police say one brothel used a card designed with the numbers 1-30 on it. A customer would get it punched on each visit, receiving a free sex act after the 30th use.
Police say the traffickers move the women from city to city. Advocates say the women face abuse, threats of violence, and the fear of being reported to immigration authorities.