Refugee avoids jail over Adelaide brothel

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

A Hong Kong refugee who ran a brothel out of an Adelaide apartment has avoided jail time.

Hon Leung Chu, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering after the premises was raided by police in April 2018.

They found a brothel call centre run by Chu, who kept 60 per cent of profits for himself and transferred the remainder to other accounts.

In sentencing Chu in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday, magistrate Alfio Grasso said three sex workers were involved in the business.

He said Chu's involvement was "initially of a minor nature" but it "gradually snowballed".

"Through others in your community you became involved in this prostitution business," he said.

"Initially it involved regulated workers who operated legally interstate.

"I'm told you lost control over ... the prostitutes and the money obtained."

In total, Chu laundered $44,000 through the brothel.

Mr Grasso sentenced him to five months, 22 days in jail, but wholly suspended the sentence and placed him on a 12-month, $200 good behaviour bond.

He also ordered that Chu hand over almost $3000.

Chu moved to Australia about 10 years ago and has been granted refugee status.

Australian Associated Press