A FORMER couple are facing jail after they helped fund their child’s private education by trafficking women into a “sexual conveyor belt” of prostitution in cities including Southampton.

Malaysian Hong Chin, 45, ran a pitbull breeding kennel on a country estate in Surrey, where his ex-partner Li Wei Gao, 44, lived in a converted barn with their daughter.

At the same time, the pair raked in more than £100,000 through the trade in trafficking women for sex work until the operation was shut down by police.

They were helped by Chin’s then-lover, Ting Li Lu, 47, jurors heard.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, all three defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain between February 2013 and June 2015.

They were also convicted of plotting to traffic for sexual exploitation into the UK between March and June 2015.

Sussex Police were alerted to the illicit operation in February 2015 after one of the women reported being debt bonded.

Following extensive investigations, they had identified 18 women from China, Hong Kong and Korea who were exploited for prostitution.

But they came up against a wall of silence from the women, many of whom denied being involved in the sex trade - with only one prepared to give evidence in court.

Investigators gathered other evidence from mobile phones, adult websites and booking records as well as CCTV footage which showed the defendants escorting women to hotels around the country.

The women advertised sex services on adult websites and the contact number was fielded by the defendants who would organise and notify them of jobs.

The gang would use false details when they reserved rooms through Booking.com at hotels including Premier Inn, Travelodge, and Holiday Inn.

Between August 2013 and February 2015, Chin made a total of 92 hotel reservations on the online booking service, the court heard.

The women were sent to perform sexual services in hotels all over southern England and Wales, including Southampton, Maidstone, Cardiff, Brighton, Gatwick, Eastbourne, Woking, Exeter, Guildford, Windsor and Bournemouth.

Chin, of Dunstall, Burton-Upon-Trent, Gao, of Heathside, Oxshott, and Lu, of Portsmouth, denied the charges against them.

Detective Inspector Andy Richardson of Sussex Police said: “This was effectively a well organised and structured business which made the defendants thousands of pounds, as was seen from their bank accounts.”

The defendants were found guilty on all charges by a majority after the jury deliberated for 14 hours. Chin and his two former lovers will be sentenced at the Old Bailey later this month.