‘Detectives’ tracking men frequenting sex trafficking businesses are making a comeback

Neon signs illuminate a street in southeast Seoul on Feb. 15, 2021. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, August 4 (Korea Bizwire)So-called “adult entertainment sleuths”, who provide the service of stalking men frequenting adult entertainment establishments, are beginning to resurface after remaining out of public view for the past few years.

They work by receiving requests through Telegram, KakaoTalk’s open chat rooms, and other social media channels to search entry databases used by sex trafficking businesses.

“Sex trafficking businesses require customer identification, the database of which is shared nationally,” one of the ads said.

“Detectives” have recently regained prominence after first gaining attention in 2018 when a website of the same name appeared online.

Online communities shared experiences of hiring these detectives, as well as posts asking for recommendations from these detective agencies.

The number of searches for the word “adult entertainment sleuths” has jumped more than 200%, according to South Korean search giant Naver Corp.

However, this involves the exchange of personal information, which is illegal. Moreover, the information they provide is often inaccurate, which increases the risk of innocent victims.

“Sex trafficking is an illegal practice, but a private entity seeking personal information, instead of a genuine investigative agency, is also illegal,” a lawyer said on condition of anonymity.

Detectives who were in business in 2018 were found guilty of breaking the Information and Communications Networks Act.

Lina Jang ([email protected])