Authorities say the Chinese woman behind a prostitution operation that spanned three parishes was based in Lafayette.

Capt. Dwayne Prejean with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Task Force says Pan Lan Ma was the ringleader who kept her employees hostage in less-than-favorable conditions by withholding their passports.

Ma was arrested for multiple counts of prostitution and money laundering.

Prejean says around $32,000 was seized in the statewide operation that net a total of 14 arrests between Bossier, Calcasieu and Lafayette Parishes in the Aug. 22 sting operation that targeted unlicensed massage parlors.

KATC first investigated the unlicensed massage establishments in May.