In operations aimed at tackling the sex trade on the streets of Taipei City, the authorities recently conducted two raids in a week, arresting at least 19 sex workers and their customers.

On May 10 and May 16, officers from Wanhua Precinct Taipei City Police Department stormed the area around Guangzhou Street, the Taiwan Times reported.

In one operation, officers raided rented apartments on Zhonghua Road, where a Taiwanese flat owner, customers and 14 sex workers were arrested. Five of the alleged sex workers were visiting from Thailand on temporary travel permits.

On May 16, officers raided premises in Hanzhong Street, where five customers and five sex workers were caught in the act. Three of the alleged sex workers were Mainland Chinese, visiting Taiwan on temporary travel permits.

Since April 12, the Taipei City Police Department has stepped up efforts to combat rampant street prostitution in the neighborhood, with 31 foreign women, 22 from Mainland China, four from Thailand and five from Vietnam, arrested for allegedly engaging in the illegal sex trade.

All foreign offenders arrested in the recent raids were referred to the National Immigration Agency, where they will be processed for repatriation.