Cambodian authorities arrested four men believed to be pimps and detained 88 women in a raid on a massage parlor and karaoke club believed to be a front for prostitution, a senior police official said Sunday.
Police raided the “World 1″ massage parlor in the capital Phnom Penh on Saturday evening following an investigation into allegations it was selling sexual services, said Heng Pov, Phnom Penh’s police chief.
“They sold sex inside. They also committed indecency stemming from ‘body massage’ in which masseuses went half-naked in the upper part of (their) body and rubbed it against the body of the customer,” he said.
Customers paid between US$20 (Ã‚â‚¬16.5) and US$60 (Ã‚â‚¬49.5) per session, he added.
Police arrested an unidentified man thought to be the general manager and charged him with indecency and prostitution. The penalty for the charges was not immediately known.
Three other men, believed to be supervisors, were also arrested, but it was unclear what charges they face.
A prosecutor in the case could not be reached for comment.
Eighty-eight women working at the parlor at the time of the raid included four Chinese, 28 Vietnamese and 56 Cambodian women. They will be transferred to a temporary center for processing before being released, Heng Pov said.
The unidentified owner of the parlor was not there when the raid occurred, and charges against him will be determined by the court, he said.
“We have collected enough evidence to launch the crackdown. We have closed down his shop already, not allowing for any operation to be conducted there,” he said.
The crackdown followed recent criticism by the United States that Cambodia is among more than a dozen countries that had failed to comply with U.S. minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.
The U.S. State Department said in a report earlier this month that a significant number of Cambodian women and children were trafficked into Thailand and Malaysia for labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
Most male victims are sent to Thailand as laborers in the construction, agricultural, and fishing industries, it said.