Three people were arrested in connection with a massage parlor that was allegedly used for prostitution.
They were arrested Wednesday after being indicted by a grand jury on charges that they allegedly violated HRS §842-2 Ownership or operation of business by certain persons prohibited and §842-3 Penalty; forfeiture of property.
According to Honolulu prosecuting attorney Keith Kaneshiro, Rickey Lee Shankles and Katherine Luo, a.k.a. Lulu, owned the massage parlor Go Go Spa on South King Street in Moiliili. Their bails were set at $50,000.
A third person, Katchina Moore, a.k.a. Leilani, was an employee at the spa, Kaneshiro said. Her bail was set at $10,000.
Kaneshiro said a major development occurred back in January, during Pro Bowl weekend. “The thing that really broke the case was a prostitute was arrested and she cooperated and decided to give us information about what was going on at Go Go Spa and that was the significance,” he said.
Kaneshiro said when authorities searched the spa, they recovered restraints, a whip, and condoms.
The investigation was conducted in partnership with the city prosecutor’s office, Honolulu police, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Kaneshiro said the woman who cooperated in the investigation was local.
However, Joanna Ip, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Honolulu office, said the initial investigation indicates “that the defendants in this case likely used immigration fraud to bring women to Honolulu to work at these establishments.”
Ip would not reveal exact details, but noted that a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at Honolulu International Airport “yielded a vital clue that became the impetus for HSI’s investigation.”
“CBP officers look at arrivals documentation for the passengers very closely, and they’re trained to spot documentation or reasons for the person’s arrival that may lead them to suspect that they’re not here for purpose they supposedly say they are,” she explained. “In this particular case, I think this person came from China, but that’s not the only country that they would come from.”
The investigation could result in federal charges if evidence leads to human trafficking.
“We think in some massage parlors, we have women coming from similar places and what’s happened, women are being circulated and sent to the mainland also,” Kaneshiro said.
Authorities stressed that the investigation is far from over, and it is not an isolated case.
Additional investigations into other massage parlors could lead to more arrests.