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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Legislation to ban ticket tabangs?

Some time ago, when taking a look at my trackbacks, I learned that googlewise this blog is the only site anywhere saying anything about ticket tabangs in English. (My earlier post on the subject.)

This time, Hannara-dang (Grand National Party) has presented a law bill which would outlaw the "ticket tabang" activity of the coffee houses (tabang / dabang). [In Hankyoreh.] (There's "tea" [ta 茶]in the name, but I prefer to call them "coffee houses" since it's coffee they mainly serve.)
The law would prohibit establishments without alcohol license to employ "service girls" (or whatever is a proper word for 유흥접객원), and also the waitresses (who apparently would be different from the yuhûng chôpkaegwôn) wouldn't be allowed to work outside the establishment.
The article says that unless a "ticket tabang" has not employed minors, there's been no basis for legal measures against them. Last year the "Minors' Protection Board" (청소년보호위원회) surveyed 1037 coffee houses in 36 cities and counties, and almost half of them had ticketing activity.

About what "ticket tabang" is, I again borrow the words of an acquaintance of mine who once contemplated of operating one - but never did that after all.
-- So what is this ticket tabang thing, how does it work? -- When a girl does a lot of delivering she may become closer (ch'inhaejida) with a customer, and then the man may ask the girl to accompany him/them when going to a noraebang or when going out… but when a girl leaves tabang to go out with someone she cannot do deliveries, so the man who asks the girl to go out has to pay a "fine" to the tabang, and that's usually more than the tabang would earn by the girl's deliveries, not necessarily but usually. The fine is 20 000 won an hour, or 250 000 won for the whole day. Whatever the girl may earn by herself during that time, that's her own income. And the girl is paid a monthly salary by the tabang, about 100-150 man won (1-1.5 mil. won), even 200 man W, and the tabang gets the ticketing money.

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Comments to note "Legislation to ban ticket tabangs?" (Comments to posts older than 14 days are moderated)

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 31.3.09 : 

Im Kwon Teck or however you spell his name (He's a famous Korean movie director) produced a movie called "Ticket" to show the life the coffee girls were forced to live. I don't think there are any copies about. Might find one in a bigger video store perhaps.

The movie the "Isle" uses the ticket tabang girls to get the plot across. Only they are called "Pedal" and not "coffee girls". I'd say the movie was a true to life depiction of what these girls go through.

There was a movie called " You Are My Sunshine" which was also about a tabang coffee girl. Sadly though this coffee girl caught aids.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 31.3.09 : 

Apparently Shin Chong Whan went from coffee girl to coffee girl. He's the escaped prisoner who made the Korean Police force look like idiots. He escaped from Pusan Prison and went through rich peoples homes and stole from them. Supposed to have held owners of a marriage place captive while he filled his bags with money.

He was caught through a tip off by someone who went to repair his gas appliances in his apartment. when they found him he was in the company of a tabang girl.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 31.3.09 : 

I saw a programe on TV about the jimchilbangs. Apparently drifting girls or homeless girls would spend their night time in these places, and then go work for a tabang delivering coffee during the day. Kinda sad, because the poor kids had been kicked out of their homes by abusive parents. Next step for them would be prostitution I guess.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 31.3.09 : 

I looked through the "Ulsan Pear" magazines that are on line, but the August issue that has the interview with a tabang girl isn't there. I wish that they will find it and put it with the rest of the online issues.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 31.3.09 : 

Found this on another site about a certain individual

He liked the Korean tabang girls, and the Korean tabang girls liked him. Tabang girls in Korea are usually very cute girls who drive around on a motorcycle (moped,autobike) delivering coffee, or juice. There is the potential for the girls to engage in prostitution, and many (though not all of them) do. Anyway he was curious about the service, so I ordered two coffees. When the girl (about 22yrs, and quite cute) showed up with the coffee, his face lit up. Girl thought he was handsome too, and she raised her top so Neil could touch her. She had no bra on of course, and he very gemtly massaged her nipples, and ran his hand down below her waist. Girl beamed in dlight. Ticked me off, because I never got such preferential treatment. The son of a gun tried to hustle her for a date to go sing in a norebong, and she of course said yes. he rushed off to get a pen to get her details. Don't know if he did take her to a norebong, but my gut feeling says that he did.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 31.3.09 : 

I have corrected an entry

I looked through the "Ulsan Pear" magazines that are on line, but the August 2005 issue that has the interview with a tabang girl isn't there. I wish that they will find it and put it with the rest of the online issues.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 2.4.09 : 

They always advertise that there will be a ban on coffee shops that give extra service, but that's complete bull. There will always be coffee girls on autobikes doing there thing

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 4.4.09 : 

The girls are are cute, and they in fact have to be. It's sure nice when they show up with their coffee or juice or whatever you order. They just plonk themselves on the floor and pour you a drink.

At night the girls from different tabangs join forces sometimes, because there aren't that many working. Nice, when they come around, because they can stay quite longer. Not so busy I guess. The driver with all the other girls usually parks outside and waits for a long time. Girls are very relaxed,and extra sociable too.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 11.5.09 : 

Interesting case about a Policeman finding the murderer of a Tabang Worker.

The Joongang Ilbo recently profiled a very dedicated detective.

At 11 am on April 24th in the year 2000, a phone call came from a dabang in Seonbu-dong in Ansan. The caller said, “bring me cigarettes, coffee, a credit card and a W100,000-supyo I can change into cash.” The location of the call was a guest’s room in a yeogwan in a tall building. Figuring the caller was gambling, the dabang owner sent over Ms. Mun, who was then 21-years old. But a few hours later Ms. Mun was found in the room, dead.

As a then-Ansan detective, 53-year old Lee Bae-yun (pictured) saw the terrible scene. Her wrists bound, her neck had been slashed over and over with a fruit knife. The mother of two, Ms. Mun had taken the dabang job to earn money.

The only traces of the killer were nine indistinct fingerprints and a cigarette butt. With the cigarette butt police discovered the killer’s blood type and DNA.

The yeogwan owner said the killer was, “165 centimeters tall and in his early thirties.” He believed the killer had committed the murder after failing to commit a sexual assault. “Catching him is just a matter of time,” he thought. But there was an obstacle. 11 women had been assaulted at random with a knife. There were two active investigations and the murder was on the back burner.

Two months later, in July, he moved his investigation to Gunpo. Believing the investigation wasn’t being properly carried out, he couldn’t shake it from his head. For him Ms. Mun’s murder was unfinished business. He left Ansan and compiled a record of all photos and documents on the case.

Afterwards he made a habit of comparing the Mun case to other murders every two days. People who had committed assaults with knive in Gyeonggi-do, peopel who had assaulted dabang workers, people who had worked as butchers — he investigated their age, appearance and clothing, and blood type. The killer’s cigarette made him seem a gambler who liked smoking, so he investigated hundreds of gamblers with criminal histories. To create a new online crime search system, the over-50 year old learned to use a computer. He was sure there was something he had overlooked.

He did that for eight years. Along the way he was promoted to captain. But he kept poring over the file he had accumulated.

Then at the end of last year, his eyes widened. 39-year old Mr. Yang was arrested for breaking into a home to commit burglary and sexual assault — carrying a fruit knife. He stood 165 centimeters. Mr. Yang had twice raped and sexually assaulted dabang workers since 2000. He compared Mr. Yang’s DNA. Bingo. This was the killer he had sought for nine years. Sentenced to 10 years in prison at trial for aggravated assault, Mr. Yang’s case was on appeal. Murder charges were added.

On the 31st he received a commendation for solving a case gone cold for nine years. “I cannot express how relieved I am the case is solved, but I am also exhausted,” he said. He is currently working in the Pyeongtaek Police Department as a traffic investigator. “There is no such thing as a perfect criminal, so they must always worry about being caught,” he said. “With time and hard work, there is no criminal that cannot be caught.” Having joined the police in 1980 he is now a veteran of almost 30 years of handling violent crimes.

The National Police Agency (경찰청) announced a “60 day plan to wipe out crime.” In April and May over 1,800 people will pitch in, aiming to crack down on rapists, burglars, and other violent criminals. They will place special focus on cold cases involving the abduction or disappearances of women and children.

To do so they will set up a profiling system for abductions and disappearances of women and children for which the statute of limitations (since April 1994) has passed. A member of the police said, “26% of abductions of children under 16, and 22.5% of abductions of women, take place in April and May.”

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 11.5.09 : 

Corrections for the previous entry

He went from being a homicide detective to captain, and now is a traffic investigator…doesn’t that seem like a pretty sharp demotion?”

He was a 계장 in 2000 and is now a 과장. That’s going from 6th geup to 5th geup in government seniority, so I’d says that’s a pretty nice promotion. According to the 2008 National Police Agency White Paper (available in Korean at http://www.police.go.kr/infodata/if_white_paper_2008.jsp ), there are over 3,400 6th geup officers but fewer than 1,500 5th geup officers nationwide.

“I’d say that about 90% of Korean men are smokers, so how did this guy seem like a gambler?”

That’s because of a little translation error on Korea Beat’s part. The Korean article actually says that the specific cigarette the killer smoked was known to be a favorite brand among habitual gamblers.

There are some other minor translation errors as well:

I doubt that the killer asked for “a credit card.” He probably asked for a deck of playing cards or something like that, which would be why the dabang owner was led to believe that the delivery was going to a group of gamblers. (If he really was asking for a credit card, the article would have used 신용카드 instead of just 카드.)

The article only says that the victim’s neck area was cut with a sharpened fruit knife. Nothing about “over and over.”

The victim wasn’t a “mother of two.” She had a two-year-old daughter.

“For him Ms. Mun’s murder was unfinished business.” The article says that the murder was actually the only unsolved case in his career at the time.

“To create a new online crime search system,” He didn’t create the system. The article says “In order to become familiar with the newly changed online case search system.”

“statute of limitations (since April 1994) has passed” should be “statue of limitations has NOT passed.” I guess the SOL for missing persons is fifteen years, so any case that occurred after April 1994 would be still within the SOL.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 29.7.09 : 

Following is from the "Daske Haamke" report on Human trafficking in Korea

Significant ruling against the industrialized sex trade
In the case of women coming out from brothels, the business
they have been working is easily identified as a sex trade
business so it is easy to prove that the owners operated organized

However in the case of roomsalon and dabang it is classified as
Food & Service Trade and is operated under legal license. Also
the sex trade does not happen inside the establishment so in
case of police investigation, the women has to remember every
small detail, for example what the sex buyer looked like, where
the sex trade took place, the hotel room number and etc. If
there is no concrete evidence that links the owner with sex
trade, then the owner receives only petty fines for violating
business practice.
In the case of ticket-dabang, the owners operate ticket-system.
One ticket is around W25,000 (about $25) per hour and the
customers buy the ticket. By buying the ticket they are buying
the time of women. The women have allotted quota of sales
everyday and a promised amount of fee to be paid to the owner.
If the women are not able to pay the fee, it all adds up to her
debt. Hence the owners create a system where women have no
choice but to engage in prostitution.
In these circumstances, the ruling of the court is very noteworthy
for many reasons. It took a broader perspective and
regarded the ticket-dabang operation as sex trade. Instead of
just punishing the owners, the court sentenced probation,
community service and also ordered them to take classes on sex
trafficking issues.

Case Outline and Assistance
a. LeeOO
LeeOO’s high school friend opened A dabang in 1998 and
from that time she worked there. The owner and the
husband made LeeOO do all sorts of work. She was to sell
the tickets, engage in prostitution, go on tea deliveries as well
as take care of cleaning. She even had to work as a housekeeper
for and baby-sit for their daughter. LeeOO was never paid.
When LeeOO first started to work in 1998 she had no
prepayment. Finally LeeOO escaped in 2001 and she took
W90,000 (about $90) from the ticket sale. The owners and
tracked her down violently hit her and accused her of
embezzlement. Then they forced her to write IOU of
W10,000,000 (about $10,000).
In 2002, LeeOO tried to escape again. The owners hit her with
a car and threatened her to write IOU of W50,000,000 (about
$50,000). LeeOO escaped again. This time, she was caught,
confined, abused and was made to write another IOU of
W10,000,000 (about $10,000). Over three period of time,
LeeOO was made to write total IOU of W70,000,000.
The owners constantly threatened her by saying that she will be
sent to an island. They forced her into prostitution, made her
sell tickets, confined and abused her. The owners also ran
dabang under her name, in case of police control.
At last on 2004, she escaped and came to Dasi Hamkke Center
(DHC) for counseling and protection.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 29.7.09 : 

A continuation of a report from the Daske haamke center for Human trafficking in korea

b. YouOO
YouOO was working in the sex industry when she met the
owner. From , she was told that she can come to work in
􀋅’s A dabang without prepayment. When YouOO first started,
she had no debt but soon it changed. The owner 􀋃 and 􀋅,
would give her some clothes and later it was put on her debt.
Like LeeOO, she was forced to do all sorts of things and never
paid. One day, the owner 􀋃 started to hit YouOO, screaming
that she had made some mistake. After the abuse they sold her
to another business in the sex industry.
YouOO was later sold to several businesses in the sex industry.
She was only able to come out after paying back all of her debt.
The owner 􀋅, showed up again telling her to only work in the
kitchen she also promised to pay monthly wage of 􀅃1,500,000
(about $1,500). The owner 􀋅 was very persistent about her
offer, YouOO gave in and started to work in 2002.
Besides the kitchen work, she had to sell the tickets and engage
in prostitution. Instead of being paid regularly, she only
obtained debt.
c. SongOO, GoOO, HwangOO
SongOO, GoOO and HwangOO worked in A dabang from
2003. The owner 􀋅 made them write IOUs and each of them
was to make a profit of 􀅃300,000 (about $300) everyday. They
were abused and threatened to engage in prostitution and sell
the tickets. The owner 􀋃 also operated replacement agency
and introduced the women to other business in the sex industry.
GoOO was even sent to work in the brothel area.
The three women were made to guarantee other women’s
prepayment so they could not run away. Once HwangOO tried
to escape, the owner demanded GoOO to payback HwangOO’s
prepayment. GoOO was not able to, so the owner 􀋃 called
SongOO and GoOO’s home and said “You daughter has been
selling herself because she likes to have sex so much but she
has some debt to pay off. Since, you are her mother, this time
you can sell yourself and pay the debt!”
LeeOO was able to escape from the A dabang on O 2004. She
came to DHC for counseling and protection. Based on her
testimony, DHC reported A dabang to the police and rescued
YouOO, SongOO, GoOO and HwangOO.
The counselors from DHC accompanied these women to police
investigation. The women testified on the owner 􀋃, 􀋅 and
present owner 􀋄. During the investigation the owners
submitted a written document to the police, which said, ‘I
renounce claim on prepayment’. The Prosecutor’s Office
ordered trial for the owner 􀋃, 􀋄 and the owner 􀋅 was given
summary order of fine.

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