INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Metropolitan police took in 12 women while raiding six massage parlors Tuesday in connection with an investigation into human trafficking.
The raids come after a year-and-a-half long investigation in coordination with Homeland Security that spans from Indianapolis to Greenwood to New Albany.
A woman cried out 'I go home!' when police walked into the Mountain Aire massage parlor on Rockville Rd near Lynhurst. Police believe she and another woman who live and work at the business are human trafficking victims.
At another location on S. East Street, police not only found women, they also seized $30,000 hidden in detergent bottles.
“They pay somebody to bring them to the United States from China,” said an undercover IMPD officer who we will not identify.
He told us these women are brought in from China and usually land in New York City before they're shipped across the U.S. to perform labor. Police said some of the women wind up at massage parlors and can even be forced to perform sexual acts for money.
"The girls are made to work in there and they only get to keep tips that they earn from customers... Some of that money is taken from them to pay for their food and their lodging," explained the undercover officer. "They basically are stuck here for the rest of their lives."
Police are served search warrants at two homes in Speedway, seizing computers and paperwork in an effort to track down who is behind this operation.
No one has been charged or arrested yet. The women will be treated as victims and work with victims’ advocates from Ohio to get help.
Police say this is a sad reminder that human trafficking is real and it's happening right here at home.
“These ladies are somebody’s mom and somebody’s sister and often times somebody’s wife that have tried to come to the United States to make a better life for themselves and got caught up in this business. And it’s lucrative for everybody but them.”