Some 50% of the Chinese massage parlours in the Netherlands are a front for illegal brothels, according to the results of a two-year investigation by the public prosecution department.
Many of the workers are illegal immigrants or came in on student visas and some are the victims of people trafficking, the report says.
‘These parlours are shooting up all over Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam,’ department official Warner ten Kate told the Volkskrant. ‘We have been alerted to the fact that a large number of these places offer ‘happy endings’ and other sexual services alongside beauty and relaxation treatments.’
Ten Kate said many of the victims of people trafficking don’t dare complain about their treatment because they are frightened of the traffickers or fear loss of face in the Chinese community in the Netherlands or back home.
According to website nu.nl, a number of massage parlours in the big three cities were ‘inspected’ on Wednesday evening.
The inspections were carried out to check up on rumours they were illegal brothels, a police spokesman is quoted as saying.
Tax officials, council workers and labour inspectors were also involved.
The results of the checks will be published later on Thursday, the website said.