CHINA / IN-DEPTH
Prostitution charges resulted in whole building's water access being cut off for three months
Published: Dec 08, 2020 10:28 PM

File photo: VCG



Residents of a self-built building in Yuetang village in Jiangmen, Guangdong, will face a three-month water suspension by the village committee over two of the tenants' arrest on charges of prostitution. The move has triggered heated discussions about issues of of agricultural security management and the binding effect of villagers' autonomy on the modication of local security in China's rural areas. 

A staff member of the Yuetang village committee disclosed that the reason for the suspension was that they could not contact the landlord of the building. Because of the tenants not abiding by the law and the landlord not being responsible, the building has gradually become a "dirty" place and a significant security hazard area, Zaker News reported.

According to local media, the building that was told to cut off the water was built by the local villagers with multiple landowners. About a dozen households are occupied with chaotic internal management at present. Some rooms are rented but no one actually lives there, which makes it easy for criminals to carry out illegal and criminal activities such as prostitution and drug trafficking.

"We got a lot of stress over receiving a lot of complaints. At night, there are about a dozen or 20 girls standing around the building in scantily-clad clothes, which has a big impact on the people who live around it," the staff said, noting that if they don't take punitive measures to stop water services, the landlord will not initiate contact with local law enforcement authorities. In the past, some landlords even refused to give the key to the police station. The police arrived after receiving the report but found it difficult to go upstairs.

The Yuetang village committee held a meeting on Monday, deciding to ask the landlord to contact and hand over the building's access to the local police station.

An insider surname Zhang told the Global Times on Tuesday that Yuetang village has dealt with more than a dozen similar incidents in accordance with the village's regulations. The frequent occurrence of public security incidents in villagers' self-built houses is not new in the rural areas of Guangdong, and the local law enforcement departments constantly face difficult management dilemma.

"Both the tenant and the landlord have flexible lease contracts and often do not even sign the contract, so they will not fulfill the rights and obligations stipulated by the law. They will certainly not cooperate in the investigation of illegal events that may harm their interests," Zhang said.

If the local village committee and police station don't crack down to remedy the situation but instead turn a blind eye or even become the umbrella of these prostitution and drug gangs, the atmosphere of the whole village would be poisonous, Zhang added.

According to the villagers' statute issued by the Yuetang Village Committee in 2018 and updated in July 2019, all tenants must comply with the Rules for the Management of Foreign Personnel, or they will be cut off from water and electricity if they violate the rules. 


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