Fears are mounting that three vulnerable Chinese girls seeking asylum could beforced into child prostitution after they vanished only days after arriving in the UK.

The two 15-year-olds and another, 16, vanished from council care within days of being stopped when they arrived at a Newcastle Airport with Japanese passports.

Their disappearance has sparked a joint police and social services investigation.

It is not known why the teenagers, who arrived on Easter Sunday, had been sent to the UK.

An inquiry is under way to establish how they obtained Japanese passports and if they were forged documents.

As the local authorities have a duty of care to asylum seekers, particularly children, they were given temporary accommodation under the supervision of a duty social worker team.

However, it is understood since the girls were placed in undisclosed premises while inquiries continued, they walked out and have now disappeared.

A spokeswoman for Newcastle social services, said: "When the girls presented themselves in Newcastle, as with any asylum situation, we accommodated them and provided any support they needed.

"There are set procedures which must be followed and we work very closely with the police.

"There will be a full investigation into the situation."

It is not known if they are still on Tyneside or have left the region on their own, or are with others.