Arrests made for illegal massage parlors - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Arrests made for illegal massage parlors

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Last year KUAM News brought you an undercover expose, bringing you an inside look at the world of sex and money behind closed doors. Our investigation revealed that there is much more than legitimate massages being given at dozens of establishments around the island that are fronts for prostitution.

Late Thursday afternoon the Attorney General's Massage Therapy and Establishment's Task Force held a press conference after conducting a near-yearlong investigation into this seedy subject.

Regulatory agencies and the Attorney General's Office have been doing their rounds conducting surprise visits to local massage therapy establishments.  The agency confirmed that administrative arrests were made and two massage parlors voluntarily closed their doors.

The task force - comprised of the AG's Office, the Department of Public Health, the Guam Fire Department, the Department of Revenue & Taxation, the Guam Police Department and the Department of Labor - has conducted inspections in recent weeks.  Officials weren't able to comment on the deficiencies noted at the establishments they visited, but could confirm that they are now reviewing the information from the inspections to determine if there are any criminal aspects to pursue.

Attorney General Alicia Limtiaco announced, "Essentially we have no stop-gap in terms of what might be criminal speak of massage parlor illegal activity, prostitution, labor activity and other types of criminal activity."

Mamie Balajadia with the Guam Allied Health Board explains that with the new legislation, massage parlors will now have to have similar credentials to facilities in the mainland.  "People who are knowledgeable and schooled to perform massage so people are not hurt or damage the mission of the Health Board to protect the public", she said.

The task force said it would continue their inspections at the dozens of massage therapy establishments around the island.

As a result of KUAM's expose legislation was also introduced clarifying the definition of a massage therapist. Speaker Judi Won Pat and Senator Tina Muna Barnes introduced the bill to crackdown on illegal massage parlors. A public hearing was held on the legislation back in February, but has not yet gone up for a full vote of the Legislature.

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