Officials: 4 illegal spas closed, 2 people arrested in massage parlor crackdown

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The Town of Babylon on Wednesday announced that a crackdown on illegal massage parlors resulted in the closure of four businesses and the arrests of two people.

Among the closed businesses is the Smile Wellness Spa on Sunrise Highway in Amityville, which Suffolk police say was illegal. A green sticker was slapped on the door, shuttering the business. Police say Yena Choi and Bo Sun Choi, both of Flushing, Queens, were arrested and charged with prostitution.

Town of Babylon officials say they're stepping up inspections of spas after numerous complaints from residents. Officials say they found several spas in the town lacking proper local business permits, and there were code and serious safety violations. Three businesses were temporarily shut down.

At the Minerva Nail and Foot Spa on Deer Park Avenue in Deer Park, the owners didn't want to speak on camera but customers were stunned by the closure.

Newsday reports that the other two spas are Wellness Center for Life on Montauk Highway in Copiague and Hawaii Foot and Spa on Grand Boulevard in Deer Park.

Legitimate massage spa owners say the influx of questionable and in some cases illegal massage spas on Long Island give their industry a bad reputation. In some cases, they say their licensed massage therapists are put into uncomfortable situations. Marla Kaplan, of Hands On HealthCare, says men sometimes come in expecting "different types of services than what we actually offer."

Suffolk police say they found no evidence of human trafficking at the Amityville spa.


News conference held for Babylon crackdown on massage parlors


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