The raid was déjà vu all over again for law enforcement.
More than a dozen judicial agents raided the Siboney massage parlor on Calle 8 between avenidas 12 and 14 Thursday. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the owner, a woman aged 73, and her 52-year-old son were held on pimping charges.
Judicial police said the storefront was a pension, a kind of hotel. But the place is well known as a massage parlor catering to blue collar Costa Ricans. Agents from Delitos Contra la Integridad Físca Trata y Tráfico section said they found six young women there. All were adults.
The allegation is that the women were providing sexual services under the supervision of the owner and her son. While prostitution is not penalized here, pimping is even though many prostitutes prefer the security and working hours of an established business.
Agents said that the operation was run as a business with the women being required to provide evidence of illness if they were absent from a work shift that ran from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The business collected 19,000 colons for an hour with one of the women, said judicial police.
Agents last raided the massage parlor in September 2002, according to news files. They arrested the woman operator and two of her daughters at that time. The telephone number remains the same.
Judicial police credited an investigation for uncovering the prostitution operation. But Siboney is listed as a provider of sexual services on several English-language Web sites and is probably one of 100 similar operations in the metro area.