Massage parlor shut down for possible human trafficking | Crime
Tampa, Florida - The sign over the Ocean Spa Massage parlor on South Tampa does not accurately describe the services being offered inside, according to Tampa police.
They raided the facility as part of an investigation into possible human trafficking and women offering sex for cash.
"We got the original complaint in October- an anonymous complaint- and we began our investigation at that point, and it culminated today with a court authorized search warrant," said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor.
Following the first tip last year, undercover officers visited Ocean Spa Massage in the 3600 block of Henderson Boulevard to investigator further.
They say women there offered them sex acts for money - confirming the allegations.
"The indications in there right now is that there are individuals that are living there. There's definite evidence of prostitution inside of this location."
Police suspect the two Korean-born and American who were found inside during Thursday's raid are victims of human trafficking.
"We have an interpreter that is speaking to them. And we are trying to get to the bottom of where they came from and why they're here," said Castor.
Mattresses and personal belongings were also found in a back room during a health inspection soon after.
Business owners who live next door to Ocean Spa Massage say it is well-known among other business owners in the area that the establishment was offering more than just its advertised services.
"It's just men, men, men. All kinds of men," said Katherine Cusmano.
The owner of La Di Da Consignment says patrons often filled the parking spaces surrounding the Ocean Spa and they regularly used her parking spaces.
Advertisements for services for Ocean Spa Massage can also be found on Backpage.com, and reviews from past customers about the quality of services offered there could be found on adultsearch.com.
Tampa police did not arrest the three women that were found inside and do not expect to charge them with a crime.
The owner of the property was questioned by police, but had not direction connection to the facility.
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
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