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Two Little River women accused in illicit massage parlor operation in N.C.

(Photo by Rissa Shaw)
(Photo by Rissa Shaw)(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WMBF) – Six women, including two from the Little River area, are accused of running illegal massage parlors where sexual services were offered.

Court documents show the six conspired to pay bribes to a law enforcement officer to provide protection for the illegal massage parlors that were in Cary, N.C. and Wilmington, N.C. The law enforcement officer was actually an undercover agent posing as a corrupt agent with Homeland Security.

Documents show that the suspects paid the undercover agent a total of $15,400 during the investigation, which lasted from August 2020 to May 2021.

Two of the massage parlor owners, Ok Hwa Lee and Shanyu Song, told the undercover agent that they live together in the Little River area, according to the criminal complaint.

The documents also stated that during one of the meetings with Lee and Song, the undercover agent asked them where the girls would come from if they opened a new store.

“Lee explained they place ads in Korean and Chinese newspapers in the United States. Lee said that most of the girls come from New York and other cities,” the criminal complaint states. “Lee stated that owners invest $60,000 in massage parlors. Workers make 40 percent and can earn $180 to $200 plus tips.”

During the investigation, officers initiated traffic stops on customers who were leaving the businesses and some admitted to receiving sexual services from the massage parlors.

Lee, Song and four others were arrested last week. They were indicted Tuesday on charges of bribery and operating an illegal prostitution enterprise in interstate commerce.

Several agencies were involved in the investigation, including the Horry County Police Department.

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