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Authorities raid Makiki massage center linked to prostitution case

Law enforcement officers Wednesday morning raided a massage center that had initially been linked to the indictment of 11 people on prostitution charges.

No one was arrested at Kison Health Shiatsu Therapy Center at 1296 S. Beretania St., but authorities seized evidence after police and Homeland Security officers assisting investigators from the prosecutor’s office executed a search warrant.

Kison had initially been listed on the indictment but was subsequently crossed off.

The raid is part of the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney’s larger ongoing investigation into massage parlors and relaxation spas, its spokesman Brooks Baehr said in an email.

The department has executed warrants on 22 businesses since April 2016. More than 35 people have been indicted, and more than a quarter million dollars has been seized.

An Oahu grand jury Tuesday indicted 11 people on 23 counts of prostitution, criminal conspiracy to commit promoting prostitution and unlawful ownership or operation of a business. They are: Pok Sun Cho, Yea Soon Kim, Sun Im Snell, Myong Cha Cho, Ok Nam Kong, Ku Hui Remiticado, Chong Ae Bae, Tok Sim Kwon, Chin Su Lim, Jin Ying Chen and Annie Hall.

Kim was arrested Wednesday in the Ala Moana area and released on $25,000 bail.

Case workers from the Susannah Wesley Community Center accompanied law enforcement to offer assistance and services to any victims of sex trafficking, but none were found, Baehr said.

Law enforcement interviews people individually in an effort to identify victims of sex trafficking, asking whether they are there voluntarily or against their will.

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