Cape Town - Three brothels were shut down and their operators arrested during an operation by the Hawks in Cape Town, authorities said on Wednesday.

“The operation focused on suspected brothels in Milnerton, Claremont and Diep River,” said the City of Cape Town's law enforcement unit spokesman Nathan Ladegourdie.

Two women who ran the brothels were arrested and charged with operating illegal establishments.

At least 12 fines to the value of R14 800 were also issued to prostitutes found plying their trade in the areas.

Ladegourdie said there had been complaints from residents about the brothels and prostitutes loitering in the areas.

Cash, cellphones, passports and work permits were also confiscated during the raids.

The women would appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Thursday. - Sapa