The nephew of Macau casino icon Stanley Ho has been convicted for his role in a prostitution ring run out of a Macau hotel.
On Thursday, Macau’s Court of First Instance sentenced Alan Ho (pictured, in cuffs) to 13 months in prison after finding him guilty of sexual exploitation. However, the Court declined to convict Ho of the more serious charge of leading a criminal organization. Ho was released following the sentence, having already spent 14 months in police custody.
Ho and five accomplices were arrested in January 2015 on suspicion of running a prostitution ring out of the Hotel Lisboa, which is owned by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau SA (STDM), a Stanley Ho-founded company that is majority owner of SJM Holdings, which operates the hotel’s adjoining casino.
Prostitution is legal in Macau but public solicitation and organized pimping are not. Ho and his co-defendants were accused of selecting which ‘young single ladies’ were allowed to ply their trade in the hotel and charging fees for the privilege. The operation reportedly involved around 100 rooms generating an annual profit of MOP 400m (US $50m) for the accused.
Four of the other five defendants were also convicted of sexual exploitation and received similar time-served sentences. But defendant Kelly Wong, who was identified in court as holding the mysterious title of Special Market PR at the hotel, was sentenced to 29 months in prison after the court determined there was sufficient evidence to prove she had personally charged fees from the working girls.
Ho’s arrest came shortly after Chinese leader Xi Jinping paid a visit to Macau and was followed two months later by the disruption of another major organized prostitution ring. But Macau’s anti-pimping efforts were on full display long before Xi took power. In 2010, Macau busted a prostitution ring operating out of Sands China’s Venetian Macao involving 110 girls and 22 alleged pimpy perps.