WEIGHT: 63 kg
Services: Dinner Dates, Humiliation (giving), Uniforms, Striptease, Spanking
SEOUL - Following the dramatic rescue of five Thai masseuses held captive as sex slaves in the South Korean city of Busan and the arrest of several members of a Thai-Korean vice ring targeting them, Thai authorities last week warned the country's women against falling prey to forced prostitution in South Korea.
The warning has cast a spotlight on South Korea's proliferating massage industry and the little-known fact that most of these establishments - whether in shady back alleys or plush hotels - are not licensed. South Korea's medical law states that only blind people and nationally certified professionals are allowed to provide massage services. The Health Ministry said recently that there are only 1, legal massage parlours hiring 9, licensed blind masseuses in the country.
But they make up only a small percentage of the total population of masseuses, as illegal massage parlours, many hiring from China and Thailand, dominate the market. Only 14 out of the shops found in the popular Myeongdong shopping district are legitimate, according to a Hankook Ilbo newspaper report.
Checks with two other areas popular for massage revealed a similar ratio of around 5 per cent being legal, said the report. While the police have vowed to crack down on illegal massage parlours, observers said the law is hard to enforce and that the authorities tend to focus on shutting down those providing sex services.
Prostitution is illegal in South Korea. There are no official figures for the number of unlicensed massage therapists. But some , of them were represented by a massage association that tried but failed to change the law back in South Korea's visually impaired population of more than , were first given the exclusive right to become masseuses under Japanese rule in The right was abolished in but reinstated in Unlicensed sighted masseuses have tried to challenge the rule several times but drew fierce protests from the blind, with some going to extreme measures such as jumping off buildings or into the Han River.