Brothel business booming under wraps Down Under

Updated: Mar 14, 2011, 21:16 PM IST

Melbourne: Melbourne is witnessing a huge increase in the number of sex parlours – more than 2500 are now registered to operate freely across suburban locations.

Victorian Government data has shown that 2530 people were registered to offer owner-operated sex services, often doing business out of private homes and small shops.

Industry insiders fear they are dodging licensing requirements by registering as sole traders rather than full-scale brothels, which are monitored more closely.

Australian Adult Entertainment Industry president William Albon said small-scale brothels could be operated by criminal groups and pose health risks to guests.

"The BLA now admits to exempting more than 2500 persons. (The) AAEI think the number is much higher, possibly as high as 7000. This is a calamity,” the Herald Sun quoted him as saying.

"The BLA do not know who these people are, what their background is or how they’re trading. There are quite possibly many persons connected with organised crime," he said.

"They might be drug dealers. They could be involved in abuse of the migration program, including the trafficking of women. They might be engaging in inducing under-age persons into the sex industry,” said Albom.

A government spokeswoman said that while 2530 people were registered to operate small sex shops, there was nothing to indicate that all were still in business.