A madam who ran a string of brothels in Kent has been jailed after being exposed by a Kentish Gazette investigation.
Police were alerted to the activities of Hai Huong Truong, (27), by the Kent Messenger Group-owned weekly after complaints from residents about the comings and goings at an end-of-terrace house in the city in 2004.
Trainee reporter Matt Hoople linked the house to adverts for a massage parlour in a rival newspaper and was offered sex on two different occasions when he rang.
He later discovered Truong, of New Romney in Kent, was also running brothels in Ashford, Folkestone and a second in Canterbury.
After door-knocking one of the houses in Canterbury, the Gazette passed the information it gleaned to detectives who went undercover. They too were offered sex.
Truong pleaded guilty to controlling prostitution for gain and trafficking for sexual exploitation and was jailed for 12 months by Judge Jeremy Carey at Maidstone Crown Court.
The judge said he had not lost sight of the fact the offences were “highly anti-social” for people living near the brothels.
Gazette editor Leo Whitlock said: “Matt was determined to bring Truong to book in order to stop the exploitation of the women working at the brothels and improve the lives of those living nearby and detective work was second-to-none.
“To see Truong jailed was particularly pleasing and sends out a signal that such activities will not be tolerated.” Do you have a story about the regional press?
Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail: