A total of 37 women from Thailand and Vietnam – described as “public relations officers” – and nine Bangladeshi guards were arrested in a raid on a nightclub in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The nightclub was raided in the early hours of Thursday morning as part of a crackdown on vice.

Between 1:30 am and 4:30 am, officials from Kuala Lumpur City Hall, police and immigration descended on an entertainment outlet at Wisma Central on Jalan Ampang, the China Press reported.

A total of 37 foreign women – 33 Thais and four Vietnamese – were caught trying to escape through a secret passage that joined the nightclub on the second floor to the ninth-floor rooftop.

The passage was so narrow it only allowed one person to go through at a time. Nine Bangladeshi men who worked as guards were also arrested.

The 46 arrested, aged between 20 and 35, were thought to have violated several immigration laws and were detained for further investigation.