Unhappy ending for 2 Metro Vancouver massage parlours
A CTV News hidden-camera investigation has prompted a posh hotel in Richmond, B.C. to kick out a spa that was offering sexual services.
When an undercover volunteer visited the Water Club in the penthouse of the Radisson Hotel this summer, manager Paul said that 25 women worked there and offered full body massage -- including masturbation.
At the time, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie told CTV News he would look into the matter and, "take such further steps as the situation dictates."
More than three months later, the Water Club remains open. CTV News recently paid another undercover visit, and found that little has changed.
The receptionist said a "happy ending" massage was available.
"Only hand massage, OK, you know? Happy ending," she said.
The hotel told CTV News in a statement that it expected the city to act quickly against the club after the hidden-camera investigation aired in June.
"When it became apparent that any action by the city would take some time, the hotel owners decided to take immediate steps," the statement says.
The club has agreed to leave the hotel by Nov. 30.
Authorities were already familiar with the Water Club, which was shut down for two months in March for bylaw violations. On one occasion, staff refused to allow police inside the club. On another, a naked female employee and a customer were found inside.
Brodie says the city is still looking into the spa.
"We sat down and said, ‘What are the infractions -- what are we seeing?' So we reviewed it very thoroughly and there were meetings with the RCMP," he said.
"We're keeping very much on top of this."
But community activists say that's not good enough.
"The Richmond city council has the jurisdiction to say that that kind of activity, that kind of business, is not desirable in that area," said Suzanne Jay of the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution.
City officials say they can only take action against the Water Club when they have clear evidence that it has violated bylaws relating to body rub parlours.
City shuts down ‘acupuncture' clinic
Meanwhile, the City of Richmond has shut down an acupuncture clinic that was issuing medical receipts for sexual services.
In June, an undercover volunteer visited KK Acupuncture in Richmond, which advertised online under the adult category and said that it accepts insurance. Not only did staff members at the so-called Chinese medicine centre offer "hand jobs" and "prostate massages," but they also said it would be okay to claim them as acupuncture to be covered by MSP or a health plan.
After the CTV News report aired, the city contacted KK Acupuncture and told the centre that its business licence application was being denied. The business only had a temporary licence; it closed its doors and has not re-applied since.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jung Lee