“For example, during the last time we did a sting operation and we arrested 16 women for prostitution, all of them have since been released. They're back on the street doing the same thing,” Tudela told Saipan Tribune.It appears to be a waste of the police department's time and resources to arrest the prostitutes and illegal cab drivers unless the cases are prosecuted.
In that sting operation, the Department of Public Safety and other enforcement agencies sought the help of visiting U.S. sailors to pose as “customers to solicit” services of suspected prostitutes, Tudela said.
In yesterday's meeting with members of the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism and other agencies in the House chamber, Tudela said the lack of prosecution not only defeats the law but also hurts the morale of police officers who made the arrests on probable cause.
Tudela and Police Officer Vicente Sablan also told lawmakers that the Department of Public Safety does not receive any update from the Office of the Attorney General on the status of cases prosecuted, if they are at all prosecuted.
“We make arrests, they're put to jail for hours, they post bail and they're free again. Once it's with the Attorney General's Office, we won't know of the status of the case,” Tudela said, adding that the courts also do not provide DPS information on the conditions of release of individuals arrested.
Reyes said he will meet with a representative from the OAG, as well as the judiciary, before calling another meeting among agencies.
“We won't know why there's a breakdown of communication or lack of coordination but maybe the OAG also has some problems. I would be sitting down with them to talk about the things discussed today,” Reyes said in an interview after the meeting.
During the meeting, Tudela said individuals suspected of engaging in prostitution in Garapan “are not afraid of police anymore.”So the real question is this - why are these violators not being prosecuted? Several people who have commented on this site have pointed out that a Japanese "yakuza" called Kimono Dragon operates some of the most notorious houses of prostitution (or clubs that offer prostitutes) within yards of the Garapan Police Station. Then there's the nearby hotel that makes a a sizable portion of business offering rooms to prostitutes and their mostly Japanese Johns. According to reports, every night dozens come and go. Anyone can see the prostitutes. In fact, last summer my high-school aged daughter commented on the number of prostitutes standing outside of clubs and soliciting on the same street corners every evening.
“They know that even if they're arrested, they'll be able to go back on the street,” said Tudela, and the others in the House chamber chuckled.
The police commissioner said individuals suspected of engaging in illegal activities “seem to be more afraid of Labor and Immigration officers” because they may be deported if they're found to be “overstayers” or working illegally.