Police to blitz massage parlour brothels

 

POLICE will conduct a blitz of brothels masquerading as massage parlours after a Gold Coast business was slapped for illegal trading.

A parlour in Ashmore was yesterday declared to be an legal brothel after a series of high-profile raids.

Ashmore's Body Back and Feet Massage on Dominions Road was named a "Prohibited Brothel" after police secured a temporary declaration under the Prostitution Act 1999.

Any business issued with the notice must display it outside the stop front or owners can face up to six months in prison.

Superintendent Craig Hanlon said illegal prostitution would remain a "significant focus" for officers.

The Ashmore parlour was declared to be an illegal brothel. Picture Glenn Hampson
The Ashmore parlour was declared to be an illegal brothel. Picture Glenn Hampson

"Police will continue to enforce the law and this includes targeting those who wish to flaunt it," he said.

"It will remain a focus due to the fact that we get a number of complaints about alleged prostitution.

"Therefore, the enforcement of this legislation will remain a focus for both local police and the prostitution enforcement unit."

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It comes six months after police launched Operation Romeo Bailie to target Gold Coast massage parlours that were allegedly providing illegal sexual services.

On September 6, Queensland police, with assistance from Australian Federal Police officers and Australian Border Force, executed search warrants at several businesses.

Criminal proceedings for prostitution offences started against five employees of three Gold Coast massage businesses.

The sign left on the door of the Ashmore property. Picture Glenn Hampson
The sign left on the door of the Ashmore property. Picture Glenn Hampson

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Groenhuijzen said police were continually investigating offences of unlawful prostitution.

The Gold Coast is home to four legal brothels - one each at Staplyton and Nerang, and two at Bundall.

Civic leaders have long been frustrated at the proliferation of illegal brothels across the city.

In 2017, Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow said she wanted to eliminate massage parlours "one by one" by installing cameras outside them to catch out users.

This year's raids come two years after officers from the Queensland Police Operation Papa Validate raided 12 Gold Coast massage shops.

Before that, the last big citywide raids on the illegal sex trade was in 2014 when police searched 50 massage parlours.

The raid has sparked a blitz. Picture Glenn Hampson
The raid has sparked a blitz. Picture Glenn Hampson

A Bulletin report in 2012 revealed dozens of the city's massage parlours were operating as brothels, offering sexual services for as little as $20 from shop-fronts and homes. The parlours advertise massage only but, once a man calls or visits, there is plenty more on the menu.

Prospective clients are offered full body massage - including every body part - oral sex and intercourse with a maximum price of $200 and a promised ''happy ending''.


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