A Chinese massage parlour has been stripped of its licence after two masseuse were caught offering sexual favours to guests.
On two occasions in May, an undercover operative from Kensington and Chelsea council reported being propositioned at the Moon Flower spa.
It follows a similar case dealt with by the borough’s licensing committee, which turned down a renewal application for a business called Elements in Kenway Road, Earl’s Court after it was also found to have been offering illicit services.
One masseuse told the operative at the Moon Flower Spa, in Earl’s Court Gardens, that he could “pay what you like” in return for an extra sexual service.
During a visit on May 21, one officer reported being treated by a blonde-haired masseuse of Eastern European descent.
“Towards the completion of the massage, she rubbed my inner leg area and asked me if I wanted a ‘special massage.’”
The officer said: “I asked her how much this would cost, in which she told me I could pay whatever I wanted.
“I declined this offer and I said ‘oh no thanks not today, as it’s not a good time’.”
On the second undercover visit on May 31, the same operative reported being propositioned by a woman of “Asian or Thai” appearance.
He said: “The adult female then asked if I wanted a hand-job.
“At this time she also put a finger to her mouth, while laughing and saying ‘shhhh’.”
Thursday’s hearing was the third time since 2017 that the premises, just 50 yards from Earl’s Court Tube station, had been called before councillors due to regulation breaches.
In 2018, the council told Moon Flower’s owners it had a “last chance”, and recommended it for “close monitoring”. This was after concerns about cleanliness and previous allegations of sexual favours being offered in 2017, under a previous owner.
The spa is owned by Eternity Health Ltd, whose sole director, Xialoi Chen, took over the licence earlier this year.
Ms Chen did not attend Thursday’s hearing and was said to have flown to China.
Instead, the spa was defended by solicitor Robert Sutherland, and a manager, Lily Guo.
Councillors took issue with Ms Guo’s inability to say who was responsible for managing the business at times when Ms Chen was not present.
Ms Guo told the committee there were “three or five” managers, out of a total of six masseuses working there.
Mr Sutherland and Ms Guo told councillors they were unable to investigate, out of the six masseuses, which were the two who offered sexual favours.
Mr Sutherland and Ms Guo were also both unable to say whether the two guilty two had been managers at the spa.
Announcing their verdict, chairman of the licensing committee, Councillor Sof McVeigh, said the committee has decided to refuse the application on the grounds that: “The persons concerned with the conduct and management of the licence, could reasonably be regarded as not fit or proper persons to hold a licence. “And the premises are being improperly conducted.”
With its special treatment licence now torn up, the spa will also lose the right to continue practising acupuncture, reflexology, and aromatherapy.
Moon Flower spa’s owner has not yet stated whether they will appeal the decision.
The business can continue trading if it decides to appeal the case.