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Illegal brothels masquerading as massage shops, karaoke bars and beauty salons

Illegal brothels masquerading as massage shops, karaoke bars and beauty salons

Illegal brothels masquerading as massage shops, karaoke bars and beauty salons

Alesha Capone reported in the Leader on January 22, 2017 that … HUNDREDS of illegal brothels, many of which offer unsafe sexual practices and put women’s safety at risk, are operating across Melbourne.

And police admit the sheer size of the industry makes it difficult to investigate.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Sara-Jane Delaney said the majority of illegal brothels operated under the guise of massage shops, with others in homes, beauty salons and karaoke bars in suburbs including Ascot Vale, Brunswick, Campbellfield, Craigieburn, Dallas, Essendon, Epping, Flemington, Footscray, Glenroy, Mill Park, Moonee Ponds, Oak Park, Pascoe Vale, Preston, Reservoir, Sunbury, Sunshine, St Albans and Tullamarine.

Most worryingly, the police unit has also received reports of underage workers, people trafficking and illegal brothels offering sex without condoms.

To report an unlicensed brothel or criminal activity in the sex work industry, contact Crime Stoppers (www.crimestoppers.com.au) on 1800 333 000.

HOW TO SPOT AN ILLEGAL BROTHEL

There’re some simple signs to look out for in order to tell the difference between professional massage businesses and illegal brothels, according to Massage Association of Australia secretary Pauline Kelly.

  • Opening and closing times are an indicator, as professional therapists do not usually offer very late appointments
  • Massage shops offering sexual services often operate from “dodgy” business fronts that close and reopen
  • Illegal brothels also have blacked-out windows and are open late into the night, advertising offers like “hot new Asian babes”
  • While some advertisements state “no sex”, they often include statements like: “new young sexy hot girls”, “sensual massage”, “all Asian young girls” and “sexy body and oil slide”
  • Most ads do not quote a SWA number on their advertisements, which is required of all legal brothels under the Sex Work Act

Please note that Southern Comfort International is a licensed Melbourne Brothal (SWA4015B) & don’t forget, if you patronise an illegal brothel, you could be liable for a fine of up to $6,000! Don’t risk it!