SPD Investigating Human Trafficking At North Seattle "Foot Massage" Business

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee December 23, 2011

Seattle police, Department of Homeland Security officials, and the Port of Seattle are investigating several Seattle-area "foot massage" parlors for connections to possible human trafficking, according to SPD records released Thursday.

In June undercover detectives from SPD's vice/high-risk victims began making visits to four massage parlors, focusing mostly on a business in the Greenwood neighborhood in north Seattle.

Women at the businesses apparently didn't speak much English, but offered officers "happy endings" and sex through pantomime, according to a police search warrant affidavit. On one visit, one of the female employees at the business gave a detective a 15 minute butt massage, the warrant says.

SPD eventually sent in an undercover female detective to ask about a job at the Greenwood business, but a man who police say runs the massage parlor told her he only hired women who spoke Mandarin Chinese.

Police tell PubliCola they have not made any arrests in the case, but served a search warrant on the Greenwood business earlier this month on prostitution charges.

SPD is now trying to determine whether the business owners—a 26-year-old man and 48-year-old woman—are involved in human trafficking.
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