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Man accused of threatening Busan sex worker with severed finger

A man in his 40s has been arrested for allegedly threatening to report sex workers to authorities and then stealing their cash in Wanwol-dong in the Seo district of Busan, police said Monday.

Busan has a red-light district in Wanwol-dong, where “glass houses” with women on display line the dark alleys. Women usually sit on high-backed chairs against a mirrored back wall that conceals a private bedroom. 

A brothel in the red-light district of Wanwol-dong, Busan (Yonhap)
A brothel in the red-light district of Wanwol-dong, Busan (Yonhap)

According to the Busan Seobu Police Station, the 49-year-old man is being charged with causing “bodily injury resulting from robbery.” He allegedly threatened one sex worker in Wanwol-dong by showing her his severed finger and tattoos, then beating her and stealing 890,000 won ($800).

The suspect also faces vandalism charges after some 23 brothels accused him of causing property damage. One of the 23 brothel owners further alleged the man took off with 330,000 won.

He later admitted to his crimes, saying he had used the “same (violent) tactics to steal from prostitution places in Seoul and Masan, South Gyeongsang Province, as well,” according to police.

Under Article 337 of South Korea’s Criminal Act, any person who injures another person during the course of a theft can face a minimum prison sentence of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment.

By Catherine Chung (