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3 arrested in undercover Asian massage parlor bust

4:32 PM, Feb 7, 2008   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Take a drive down Kennedy Boulevard and you'll see sign after sign, Asian spas advertising massages but police say giving much more.

Capt. Paul Driscoll, Tampa Police Department:
“I can't say for certain that every Asian massage spa in the city of Tampa is committing prostitution; I can just tell you that many of them are.”

In an undercover sting, Tampa detectives busted Bangkok Health Club Massage and Magic Health Spa arresting three.

Capt. Paul Driscoll, Tampa Police Department:
“There are unsuspecting citizens that actually go to these places thinking they're going to get an actual massage, and many cases they do, but then they find out there are more services that are offered that they are very offended by.”

Police say shutting the businesses down is more difficult than you might think. All arrested are charged with practicing health care without a license. It's a new tactic detectives are using since bringing prostitution charges gets harder as the girls learn to maneuver the system.

Capt. Paul Driscoll, Tampa Police Department
What they want the patron, or in this case us the undercover officer, to do is to completely disrobe, be completely naked and we as police officers can't do that they know that.
Sukhui Bonner, Owns Two Spas Not Involved in Bust:
“I want to run clean business.”

Sukhui Bonner owns two spas and says lumping all of the businesses in the city together isn't fair.

Sukhui Bonner, Owns Two Spas Not Involved in Bust:
“I went to school and work very hard to get a license.”

Bonner admits owners have to be diligent to keep the businesses on the up and up.

Sukhui Bonner, Owns Two Spas Not Involved in Bust:
“Behind the door, we cannot really control everything but we try to make sure we don't want to hire people like that.”

Police say ultimately, to close the bad shops, they have to build a year-long racketeering case against its owner, which takes both time and resources.

Sara Dorsey, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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