Amsterdam shuts down massage parlours over backroom prostitution claim

Amsterdam closed eight massage parlors late last year after evidence was found indicating that they were used for illegal prostitution. Eight more massage parlors were told they have to close, Het Parool reports.

This formed part of the city's major campaign to track down massage parlors used for prostitution, held between August and November. Municipality auditors checked 22 parlors, most of them Thai and Chinese massage parlors. They looked for trace evidence, scantily clad women and sexually related objects in the parlors. They also looked at internet reviews.

Three of the checked massage parlors were clean, in three others there was not enough evidence to prove illegal prostitution took place. Eight were closed immediately and eight others were informed that they had to close.

According to the municipality, massage parlors used for illegal prostitution cause nuisance and make local residents feel unsafe and it can not be guaranteed that the sex workers are working in a safe environment. The municipality also considers it unfair competition for licensed sex companies, who have to comply with various strict rules and regulations.

The municipality considers this a successful campaign,  but the problem is "persistent", according to the newspaper.

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