Following a prostitution racket that was busted in Phuentsholing last October, the trade office has cancelled licenses of two massage parlours and a hotel recently.

The notification for cancellation was given about two weeks ago and the firms – Green Valley hotel, Lhazey saloon, and Sunshine saloon had closed shop last week.

In two separate incidents, police in Phuentsholing had arrested 13 non-Bhutanese for their involvement in prostitution in these three business establishments.

Officer commanding (OC) in Phuentsholing, Major Ugyen Tshewang said all were convicted.

“Two women, one from Nepal and another from across the border are still in custody,” the OC said.

Other offenders had paid in lieu of imprisonment and were released, Ugyen Tshewang said.

No prostitution cases have been reported this year.

Following the bust last year, the trade office in Phuentsholing had also written to the saloons that provide massage services to do away with closed-door massage services.

Phuentsholing trade regional director Pem Bidha said the office asked the owners of beauty parlours to do so during inspection.

“A follow up will be done in July,” she said.

There are more than 50 beauty parlours in Phuentsholing and many provide massage services. Most of the massage therapists are from across the border.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing