Prostitution, porn, safety cited at 48 Beijing clubs

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Three high-end nightclubs are among the 48 entertainment venues shut down in a crackdown between April 20 and May 30 for safety violations, prostitution and pornographic activities, Beijing police said.

The three renowned Beijing nightclubs - Mingheng, Youtang and China Town - engaged in prostitution, while four karaoke bars staged pornographic shows, including striptease dancing, police said. Beijing police also closed six clubs for safety issues after receiving complaints and vowed zero tolerance for illegal activities in entertainment venues.

In May 2010, in a crackdown against prostitution, gambling and drugs, Beijing police detained 557 escort girls from four nightclubs, including the notorious Heaven on Earth nightclub, a high-end purveyor of prostitution, China News Service said. The Heaven on Earth club, said to be popular among Chinese middle and high-level officials and businessmen, boasted of escort girls from famous universities and art colleges.

Sun Lixia, 24, vice general manager at the nightclub, has been jailed for four years for organizing prostitution. Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court heard that Sun arranged for prostitution on four occasions, earning 6,500 yuan (US$1,020.5).

Sun charged clients 3,000 to 5,000 yuan each time and pocketed 30 to 50 percent of call girls' illegal income, China News Service cited the court as saying.

Sun confessed she earned 6,500 yuan in total from the deals, but pleaded not guilty, saying she was "matchmaking," not "pandering," the court said.

Zhang Jingli, a former deputy director of the State Food and Drug Administration, was caught on video in steamy scenes at the Heaven on Earth club. He was accused of a "decadent life" and he stood trial for taking bribes of more than 1.17 million yuan in Beijing.

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