Police investigate Bellingham spa businesses for sex trafficking

Police investigate Bellingham spa businesses for sex trafficking

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force and Bellingham police are investigating multiple spa businesses suspected of sex trafficking.

Police said several weeks ago the Bellingham Police Department received complaints of suspicious activity at some of the businesses. Surveillance and contacts with the businesses provided enough evidence for search warrants.

On Thursday, investigators served search warrants to six businesses:

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  • Imperial Spa in the 1200 block of Barkley Boulevard.
  • Golden Foot Spa in the 200 block of East Chestnut Street.
  • Cheerful Healthy Massage in the 1500 block of Birchwood Avenue.
  • Rub Hub Body & Foot Spa in the 4200 block of Meridian.
  • Oriental Chinese Foot Spa in the 100 block of West Kellogg.
  • Lu's Foot & Spa in the 400 block of West Bakerview Road.

During Thursday's searches, police seized business records, cash and transaction receipt information from the businesses. Investigators also interviewed employees during that time.

“The Bellingham Police Department works in cooperation with our federal partners on these important investigations because we are committed to ensuring the safety of all our citizens, especially those who may be victims of sex trafficking,” said Bellingham Police Chief David Doll.

No arrests were made.

Police said additional people associated with the businesses, including owners and patrons, will be contacted by investigators in the coming weeks.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact the Bellingham Police Department through its tip line at www.cob.org/tips or Officer C. Brewer at 360-778-8652.