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Indonesia police break up online prostitution ring involving boys: report

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian police said on Monday they had broken up an online male prostitution ring and identified nearly 150 young men and boys, at least one as young as 13, offering sexual services.

There are no reliable statistics on sex crime in Indonesia but the government has said it faces a "child sex abuse emergency".

President Joko Widodo recently signed a regulation allowing for harsher punishments for child molesters and rapists, including chemical castration and the death penalty.

Agung Setya, chief of police criminal investigations, said many of the 148 people offering services were underage with the youngest was 13 and the oldest 23.


"We have identified 148 more victims, and as many as 45 are boys," he said, according to the Kompas daily.

At least seven of the victims had been taken to government counseling and rehabilitation facilities, he said.

Three men were arrested last week in connection with the case, including a pimp, and a customer believed to be foreign, police have said, though they have not given details.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, except in the particularly conservative province of Aceh, but sex between an adult and a minor is illegal.

(Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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