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Seattle police bust prostitution ring after 3-year investigation

(Photo: Matt Pittman, KIRO)

A three-year police investigation into a network of Seattle massage parlors culminated this week with the arrest of six suspects, charged for promoting prostitution and money laundering.

The parlors were found to be tied to a criminal network that fraudulently lures Chinese women into the U.S. through hubs in California and New York, ultimately funneling millions of dollars back to China,” reports KIRO 7.

Victims were promised legal employment that could support their families, and then forced into prostitution at numerous massage parlors and spas.

For KIRO Radio’s John Curley, much of this underground criminal activity could be avoided through legalization.

“What’s the fastest way to get rid of this? How did we put Al Capone out of business? We got rid of prohibition. You want to get rid of these sex slaves? Great, legalize it,” Curley said. “Then you wouldn’t have the underground circuit of criminality grabbing these girls off the streets in China.”

RELATED: Rantz: Prostitutes flood Seattle as city attorney refuses to charge, cops complain

Police recovered 26 women between the ages of 20 and 60, many of whom were forced to live in austere conditions, and were prostituted for up to 20 hours a day, Seattle police said. Police also found cash and firearms.

Co-host Tom Tangney believes that the issue of legalized prostitution is unlikely to ever gain momentum.

RELATED: Family-run businesses hurt by Aurora Avenue prostitution

“I don’t think that American society is comfortable enough with that,” he said. “I just don’t think that as a country with as many religious convictions as it claims to have, could be comfortable living in a society where that happens.”

The victims are currently receiving help from service providers in order to help with medical attention, food, and living arrangements.

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