The Chinese owner of a massage parlour in Limassol has been ordered straight to trial, facing multiple charges including human trafficking and exploitation.
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The suspect, who was arrested and remanded for eight days last week, appeared in court on Wednesday when his remand was set to expire. A case has been filed against him and he will remain in jail until his arraignment hearing.
Investigators believe the businessman was running an illegal prostitution ring in Limassol, in the Linopetra area, where they raided the business last week and detained him along with six women for questioning. Three male customers were also questioned during the operation.
The Chinese businessman is facing multiple charges including trafficking, while he has denied any wrongdoing
Local sources said police investigators obtained statements from the women, three of whom came from China, two from Vietnam and Nepal, and another female from Moldova. All women are being treated as possible trafficked victims, while at least two of them reportedly told police they came to work as professional masseuses at the suspect’s spa on a job contract offering €960 as a monthly salary.
Many Asian parlors are rumoured around the world for giving “happy endings” where male clients get sexual favours at the end of a massage in exchange for a higher price, depending on the nature of the service.
According to police, more money would end up in the suspect’s pocket if the women offered these extra services. The female workers were asked to offer “more than just innocent massages” so that the business would have a basis to charge a higher price. Reports also said police were told the suspect would raise his voice if the women refused.
According to local media, the 48-year-old Chinese national came to Cyprus as a foreign investor in 2015, after having bought a local residence in Paphos for €300,000. He also spent reportedly an additional €190,000 to buy a place for his business.
Police sources told Knews that no bail was set for the defendant, who will remain in custody until his arraignment on March 6.
He is facing sex multiple charges including trafficking and exploitation, illegally withholding passports, false imprisonment, and illegal gains. Local reports said he has denied any wrongdoing.