Six Arrested At Massage Parlor Raids

(KHNL)  -  They're known as relaxation parlors, but some serve as fronts for prostitution rings. Honolulu police are aware of the problem, and addressed it with a sting on four massage parlors Friday night.

"It's our responsibility to enforce the prostitution laws in the city and county on Honolulu," said Major Kevin Lima, of the Honolulu Police Department. "We take our job seriously."

Six women were arrested from the four massage parlors that were raided on Ward Avenue. Three women face prostitution charges.

"This investigation is based on public complaints," said Lima. He said police have received numerous complaints about these establishments over the last year.

Police say these busts are done at random, to keep the businesses guessing. But it's also to make sure the officers do everything properly.

"We have to conduct an investigation, we have to get admissible evidence for court, and we have to make sure the arrest is conducted without any problems," said Lima.

Law enforcement officers from the county, state and federal levels participated in the bust. The group of women face charges at every level: prostitution, cosmetology violations, and immigration violations.

Being a business, the massage parlor itself is regulated by the state. It can be fined $500 for any violations, and if it gets enough violations, the parlor could lose whatever business licenses it has.