Greater Manchester Police have closed down one Manchester’s well-known and long established massage parlours – Sandy’s Superstars.
Both branches, Prestwich and Northenden, of the infamous and popular parlour were raided simultaneously and computer equipment and paperwork were seized.
Sandy’s Superstars was thrown into the national spotlight in 2010 when The Mirror, among other tabloids, revealed that the Sister of George Sampson who had won Britain’s Got Talent, was working as an escort there after being outed by the newspaper’s own undercover sting.
Threads on so-called ‘punting’ forums – online communities where customers discuss their experiences with working girls and sex establishments – one such thread on UKPunting asked what was wrong with the parlour’s phone lines which were reported to be engaged minutes after the police arrived.
Neighbours were alerted by the high police presence in the area along the busy stretches of road that both parlours buildings are situated on.
The following morning the business’ main web site was offline.
A GMP spokesperson said: “Police executed warrants at two suspected brothels; one on Bury Old Road in Prestwich and one on Palatine Road in Northenden.”
The spokesperson also confirmed that during the two coordinated raids the officers had arrested “seven people” on suspicion of “managing a brothel and money laundering” but have since bailed the individuals.
Charges have not yet been filed.
The thread on UKPunting’s forums highlight the concern some have for the industry with many saying they believe Sandy’s Superstars to be the most professionally ran parlour probably in the UK.
The parlour has been in operation for over 20 years and was started by a former working girl – Sandy. They opt to only have English women on the books and offer a safe and clean environment for their women to work.
Whilst it is not illegal to sell or buy sex in the UK it is illegal to run, manage or profit from a brothel (deemed to be a place where more than one working girl is working). However it is largely left to the local policing teams to enforce the law often choosing to tolerate peaceful businesses rather than close them down.
GMP have often carried out ‘welfare’ visits to Manchester-based parlours to ensure the women were consensually working there and that there were no drugs or illegal workers on site.