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Thai massage parlours in sex trade raids

TT/The Local/pvs · 24 Oct 2011, 08:06

Published: 24 Oct 2011 08:06 GMT+02:00

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Sex trafficking is difficult to prove and the police now hope to be able to target the rogue parlours by studying their finances, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

Raids on several salons in the Stockholm area revealed serious mismanagement of cash.

There are currently almost 190 Thai massage salons in Stockholm.

"We have clear indications both in the trafficking of girls and that many deal with black money and pay unreasonably low payroll taxes," said Conny Svensson at the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) to the newspaper.

In Stockholm, the number of massage parlours in operation has doubled since 1990.

The police are convinced that some of them sell sexual services, including massage that ends with masturbation, but can not prove their suspicions.

Story continues below…

"We also hear of and witness other, more advanced sexual services, which means that you may soon wonder if we have a brothel on every or every other street corner," said Ewa Carlenfors, head of the section against trafficking at Stockholm police, to DN.

"But it is very difficult for us to prove in court the customers on whom a sexual act was performed."

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:13 October 24, 2011 by ingvar
Well, What's the problem? Send a police there. As a customer.
11:41 October 24, 2011 by Nilspet
So this means there is a lot of demand in Sweden for massage etc? Demand and Supply work together. No demand .. no supply. No great demand no great supply.
11:51 October 24, 2011 by Opinionfool
Whatever happened to "Swedish Massage" parlours? When I was younger and living in England this was a euphemism for brothel.

Here's an idea instead of going round looking for expensive places to hang up while unemployed or looking for exotic cuisine why doesn't The Local's Gwen Ramsey do a consumer guide to Stockholm's massage parlours instead.
11:52 October 24, 2011 by StockholmSam
Thanks to the attention this story will bring to the issue, demand is about to explode. Customers will be lining up to get a 'therapeutic massage' from a young Thai girl.
12:46 October 24, 2011 by conboy
Could it be the end for happy endings?
13:06 October 24, 2011 by Addendum
Just an observation... The Swedish press censors itself so that violent crimes are not to be linked to men of any particular origins. However, the press does NOT censor itself when it implies that women of particular origins are selling sex.

Furthermore, did the police ever really care about these businesses before? Or do they just care now because the businesses seem successful, and the tax authorities are concerned about their cut?

And regarding "trafficking of girls", please define "girls". Are these legal adults or underage kids?

...These articles on abused workers of foreign origin never say how these individuals are coming into Sweden, legally or not? Seems like that would be a good place to start in order to diminish the "supply" of vulnerable peoples to the monsters in Sweden (and elsewhere) who feed on them.

...In articles such as this, responsible journalists might also include information on who these women can turn to if they need/want help getting out of their current environments... Perhaps 050 202020 / kvinnofridslinjen.se - available in numerous languages...
13:57 October 24, 2011 by Abe L
The real problem is that they aren't paying the right taxes. That's like committing massive murder in Sweden.

If they want to solve the other problem, just legalize prostitution like in Denmark and Holland. It will provide jobs and tax income for the state, instead of having it happen in the illegal circuit. It's not appealing to criminals if there is a proper legal alternative.
14:00 October 24, 2011 by DAVID T
@ Opinionfool

Haha - love your comment about that dunce Gwen. Maybe she does massage on the side and that's how she can afford these places - Damn I knew I'd seen her somewhere before :-)
14:04 October 24, 2011 by RobinHood
Good idea Opinionfool. Rather than wait for Gwen, I popped out for a Thai massage this morning. Here is my review:

I chose Spring Flower Thai Massage Emporium, Östgötagatan 12, Stockholm. An establishment with old world charm and plenty of Thai atmosphere. My masseur introduced herself as Lucy and after a handshake and some small talk, it was off with the clothes and on with the white towel. Lucy preferred a light massage oil she picks up in Bodyshop; it smelled of mango. Lucy said she had no formal qualifications in massage, but said she had received plenty of on-the-job training since arriving in Stockholm last June. Lucy began with a traditional Thai foot massage and worked her way upwards to the knotted muscles of my lower back. I confess I dozed off at this point, Lucy really had a talent for making people relax.

Unfotunately, I was awoken by the sound of 23 Stockholm policemen crashing down the door and arresting everybody in sight. There would have been 24, but one had to stop off at IKEA the collect his gun. Fortunately, my diplomatic immunity meant I was not detained more than a few minutes. When I last saw Lucy, she was in the back of a police paddy wagon with several other masseurs, and what seemed most of the male members of the Stockholm police force. Strangely, they all seemed to know her very well. I guess the stress of police work is best alleviated by a relaxing Thai massage. They were laughing, so I guess this first Local review of a Thai massage parlour will conclude with a happy ending for everyone - except me - I paid for a full hour, but only got half.

Over to you Gwen.
14:13 October 24, 2011 by DAVID T
@ RobinHood

15:20 October 24, 2011 by Opinionfool

RoTfLmAo (The Local didn't like the conventional style of writiing that.)
15:25 October 24, 2011 by Jes
The year was 1990 . The city was London . The headline in The Sun was : " Sex in Massage and Sauna Paulours". The story was that one investigator had just found out that almost all sauna & massage Health Centres & Clubs " employ prostitutes

30 minutes after reading the story , mere curiousity drove me to one of them places that I had always noticed along Streatham Highway . I went in- At the reception , a well perfumed lady told me how much it would cost me to stay for an hour . Services ? Suana , birth , massage and light drinks .

I paid 30 £ and deposted my car keys . Down in the changing rooms , there was nobody to recieve nobody . You locked your stuff in one locker and it was up to you what you wanted to do - sauna , birth , or massage . I was only interested in the bit which would put me in contact with the ones that the Sun had reported about . Towel and nothing else , I went into the darker room where three or four blondies sat smoking . They all wore white gowns , the sort you see in movies .

Sauna ? someone asked me . She walked to one small room with blood red lights and what I now know was a suana bed . She provided me with a soft drink and asked me if I wanted power or cream . I had no clue what she was suggesting . I responded by letting her choose . I threw away my towel ready to have my very firsrt massage .

As she threw powder and rubbed my confused body . I was thinking 2 things : 1-The Sun was wrong . they do massage really . 2- massage is overrated . I feel nothing Then------

it happened : she smiled and went down the list of "extras" that were available to me . there and then . 20£ for this-------------30£ for that -- 40 £ for the other ..... She lifted her white garment to illustrate the point . I discovered that she was not a natural blond.

I I had just left all the cash I had at the reception and had nothing more for the extra . To hide my embarrasement , I joked by asking her how much it would cost to marry her . She smiled and left .

That must have been one of quickest massages that day .

A few days later , the Sun was at it again reporting that after their story , massage & sauna places has been overwhelmed by needy clients

So , dear Ewa , please make your worker eazier by asking the law-makers to stop being so naive . Payng for/ selling sex is not the evil thing Sweden is trying to make it be . There is no evidence what so ever that people who pay for sex are less normal than those who don`t . But there is evidence that men who angage in casual sex ( with no emotional committment ) make good husbands .
17:32 October 24, 2011 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
No way are there 190 Thai massage shops in Stockholm, there would have to be about 1000 Thai women in town then, thats just daft ! Maybe 19 but not 190. This is only a wee part of the so called sex for sale problem in Sweden. Goggle for "stockholm escorts" & see how many hits you get ! Prices are high, 2-3000/hour -hardly a persuit of the working classes. Take a look at how many single men travel to Thailand every week from Arlanda...oops ! Better to save your money & travel to Germany or Holland if thats what you are after, funny as in my experience the majority of Swedish men are not interested in having sex, like I mean they have no sex drive.They marry out of habit & then have a couple of kiddies...sex is like having 2 cars parked in a garage, if one is a Ferrari and one a Volvo 740 then there will always be problems. Oh and most women tend to switch off after child nr. 2-3 or they reach 40, men have a hard on forever...so ladies what are we supposed to do, stop having sex because you want to ?! Live in enforced celebacy just for the sake of the kids ? ! Go the way of Germany, legalise it & accept it , after all the catholic church accepts prostitution as a "neccesary evil". There will always be pidgeons in society....sadly. PS: can anybody explain to me the point of "the weekends finest"...just a lot of bimbos pouting..190...thats a laugh !
19:50 October 24, 2011 by BillyB

I dunno..190 wouldnt surprise me at all.

I pass 5 just on my 12 minute walk to work.

And where my girlfriend lives on Sodermalm there are at least 6 within 2 minute walking radius of her apartment.

Thats 11 in just two localized areas.

190 in the whole of Stockholm is easily believable.
20:07 October 24, 2011 by Opinionfool

Are you making the assumption that all these Thai "massesues" are indeed Thai? While you may be right that there are insufficient Thai women to staff these places, isn't the issue that some of the places were being used for sex trafficking; there's no reason why only Thai women would be trafficked in that situation.
21:47 October 24, 2011 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
Billy B; Unless the Stockholm police publish a list I`ll never believe its 190.

Opinionfool: of course not.
22:34 October 24, 2011 by JustThinking
Does the Swedish police also do these raids if a Thai massage parlour girl visits you at home? I mean just like an escort girl who receives money for sexual services, but now advertises with: 25 years old, massage, no sex? And then off course offers you these 'extra's'?

One has to be stupid not to see the Swedish model against prostitution is not working against sex trafficking. Numbers of women being trafficked to Sweden have increased dramatically. In a legal system victims could be given all the information necessary to get rid of their traffickers before they ever start working. Now they are isolated and more vulnarable.

In Holland the number of these massage parlours has also increased, especially in the Amsterdam Red Ligt District. It happened after local authorities closed down a large number of the window brothels. It looks like Holland is gradually adopting the Swedish tunnel vision. So thank you very much on behalf of all the victims of forced prostitution and all sex workers being driven underground!
23:04 October 24, 2011 by philster61
Just goes to show how Swedish police are pussies. If their only objective is the invasion of the private lives of individuals, then imagine if an Anders Brevik situation were to occur, the Swedish police would crap their pants..... Lame.....
00:09 October 25, 2011 by Lanzo
Just a suggestion from Italy (same problem discovered some years ago, but no results from police actions).....Push your Police to check alsto chinese massage center ;-)

13:54 October 25, 2011 by dougwinstone
I turned down a happy ending once while on holiday my main reason was I didn't want to pay for it, so to the "massage parlors", why don't you just include a happy ending in the price rather than have it as an extra?
15:58 October 25, 2011 by Addendum
According to Aftonbladet, a director at the Ministry of Defence, Henrik Moberg and his wife own several Thai massage parlours, and they have recently been convicted of tax evasion. They also are paying the women aournd half (7000 sek per month) of what they were initially promised, and the women sleep in back rooms at the massage parlours. Annonymous sources told police that there was prostitution at the Moberg parlours, but the police were unable to validate these claims. The Mobergs refuse to comment.
11:34 October 26, 2011 by conboy
This is nonsense there is absoloutely no public corruption in Sweden - everyone knows that!
20:46 October 28, 2011 by nicmart
"Trafficking" is another word for "women emigrating to work." It's the KGB word for voluntary work.
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