IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Chinese massage centre: We aren’t running a brothel

Junction Road shop to stay open despite claims it was offering sexual services

15 December, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Police called for Golden Health’s special treatment licence not to be renewed

A CHINESE massage centre which police believed was running as a brothel has been allowed to stay open.

Police and Islington Council licensing officers visited Golden Health, in Junction Road, Archway, several times after being tipped off that it was offering sexual services.

Police called for its special treatment licence not to be renewed at a hearing at the town hall on Wednesday.

But director Yong Mei Wang strongly denied the claims.

In a statement submitted to the licensing committee, Ms Wang said: “I can say categorically that the property has never operated as a brothel.

“I have never offered sexual services at the shop and I am there most days. I make it very clear to staff that they must not offer sexual service and I would dismiss anyone who did so instantly.”

The Tribune was excluded from part of the hearing, under the Local Government Act 1972, while councillors listened to police reports.

Later, police licensing officer Petros Loizou said his research showed that customers discussed the venue, services and prices on online forums, although he admitted it was an “untested source”.

He also raised concerns about nicknames such as “Apple” being used. A customer had said sexual services were offered, he added. On police visits they only saw men there.

Ms Wang was accompanied by two members of staff and legal representative Lucy Organ.

One member of staff told the committee about her massage and acupunct­ure qualifications. Ms Organ asked her: “What would happen if you were to offer sexual services?” “I would get fired,” she replied, adding that the male to female customer ratio was about 50-50.

Another woman said customers did ask for sexual services but she refused.

Giving the committee’s decision, Councillor Nurullah Turan said: “There is no direct evidence to prove that the premises were operating as a brothel.

“There are no legal grounds to refuse the application for renewal of the licence.”

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