Six women have been rescued from two Tennessee brothels that were disguised as massage parlors, operating illegally during the COVID-19 crisis.
Global anti-trafficking organization Hope for Justice received information from another non-government organization (NGO) and law enforcement earlier this year which sparked an investigation. Although this was put ‘on hold’ during the lockdown, Hope for Justice investigators continued with surveillance of the premises.
In April, Hope for Justice discovered that the ‘massage parlors’ were still advertising commercial sex through social media sites and websites. The team identified that the businesses were continuing to operate illegally during the pandemic.
The companies have now been raided and shut down, with six women aged in their 20s and 30s rescued from sexual exploitation.
One of Hope for Justice’s investigators said: “We spent countless days conducting surveillance of these two premises and searching through trash as part of the investigation to collect evidence which could then be handed over to law enforcement and state code regulators.
“We are very pleased to say that the six women are now safe. They have all been referred for further victim support with an NGO.
“Those who were committing these crimes have been arrested.”