Oriental Massage, a massage parlor located in the Richland Shopping Center is closed following an investigation into illegal sex favors for money allegations.
No arrests have been made. The investigation into the business and business owners, Ricardo Ruiz and Zi Qian, is ongoing. Police said a case has been forwarded to the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office for review.
Ceres Police Department received tips that parlor employees were offering sexual acts in exchange for money. Massage parlors are havens for human sex trafficking, the most common form of modern-day slavery and third-largest criminal enterprise in the world.
Police enlisted the help of "Without Permission," an organization dedicated to exposing the sex trade, to an undercover operation that took place on Jan. 30. In a sting operation, an undercover police officer was offered sexual acts for money.
Code enforcement officers inspected the building for violations such as illegal showers, locked rooms, other hazards, and business license violations. Representatives from "Without Permission" assisted police with interviews of the women inside the business by providing a language interpreter and offering resources to them if they are being exploited.
Anyone with information that may prove helpful in this investigation is encouraged to contact Detective Darren Venn by calling 538-5616 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be anonymously reported by contacting Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers by calling 1-866-60-CRIME or texting
274637 with TIP704 in the wording.