Refugee 'main player' in SA brothel

Chinese national Hon Leung Chu has pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering.
Chinese national Hon Leung Chu has pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering.

A Chinese refugee was the "main contributor" to a large-scale prostitution ring discovered in Adelaide, a court has heard.

Hon Leung Chu, 33, pleaded guilty in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday to three counts of money laundering after police located a "brothel call centre" at an apartment last year.

The charges related to a total of about $44,000 in funds.

While defence counsel James Caldicott acknowledged Chu was the "main contributor" to the business, he said the idea had come from others and had "snowballed out of control".

He said his client had been granted a refugee visa but could be deported at the conclusion of his sentence.

Police previously alleged Chu was running a prostitution ring involving about 36 prostitutes and 19 receptionists and used the names of Hollywood stars to launder money through a fake cleaning business.

He was arrested at his home at Northgate, east of Adelaide, in April 2018, and later granted bail in the Supreme Court.

Magistrate Alfio Grasso continued Chu's bail to appear before the court for sentencing next month.

Australian Associated Press