A major police crackdown on Oslo’s many massage studios revealed a string of illegalities including black market work, illegal residence and prostitution. Around 20 people were quickly deported after being found to have worked illegally in Norway for several years.
There are roughly 150 massage studios in Oslo and police raided 50 of them, with labour authorities along on 11 of the crackdowns. “The goal was to weed out the operations that were not serious,” Pål H Lund of the state labour authority Arbeidstilsynet told state broadcaster NRK.
In some cases, those working in the massage studios often set up in store-front location were also living in them illegally. Police also uncovered several cases of pro-forma marriages so that women working in the studios did obtain residence permission. Fire safety violations were also uncovered.
Police suspect many of the massage studios are used as a cover for sex sales. The leader of at least one studio, Praiwan Jacobsen, felt the authorities misunderstood and claimed she has nothing to hide. Others found the police’s questions uncomfortable but said they understodd the regulators also needed to do their jobs.