Police shut down no less than 12 massage parlors in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst for alleged prostitution this week, arresting owners, managers and workers. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office is investigating whether workers were “victims of human trafficking, being manipulated or held against their will,” according to Brooklyn Paper, and whether a central organization was controlling some or all of the operations. According to DA Charles Hynes, all of the women arrested gave very similar stories about having children in Asia they needed to support.

NYPD Commissioner was typically jokey and a little tone-deaf in his assessment of the case. “We know people in Bay Ridge have back pain,” he said, “but we don’t think that’s enough to sustain 19 massage parlors.”

Anecdotally, it seems like these places must have been relatively easy to take down. Google searching for many of their names turns up innuendo-laden reviews on a host of massage-oriented message boards like this one.

(Image: Google Street View)