Two women working in Redwood City massage parlors were arrested for prostitution and the businesses' owner for pimping and pandering, according to police.

The arrests followed a two-month investigation by Redwood City police that focused on two businesses with the same owner: New Spa at 636 El Camino Real and Aurora Spa at 1685 Broadway.

The probe was prompted by complaints that sex-for-money acts were being offered at the establishments, according to police.

Both spas are owned and operated by Milpitas resident Ting Sun, 27, who was arrested Aug. 8 on charges of pimping and pandering.

On that day, detectives conducted an undercover operation at the New Spa. A plainclothes officer who entered the business and requested a massage was solicited by an employee for an act of prostitution. The woman, Li Zheng, 38, of Fremont, was arrested for solicitation of prostitution, according to police.

Weeks earlier, detectives conducted a similar operation at Aurora Spa and arrested 44-year-old Daly City resident Winnie Tse for solicitation of prostitution.

The investigation revealed that Sun knowingly allowed the criminal activity to occur at both spas and profited from it, Lt. Sean Hart said Wednesday. Detectives served a search warrant at Sun's residence in Milpitas and found evidence confirming she was the owner and operator of both businesses.


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The Redwood City Police Department has begun the administrative review process required to shut down the spas, Hart said.

Police do not believe Zheng and Tse were victims of human trafficking, forced into prostitution, Hart said.

"They had the ability to leave, they had licenses, they were citizens, they had passports," Hart said. "It appeared they were in it for the profit."

Email Bonnie Eslinger at beslinger@dailynewsgroup.com; follow her at twitter.com/ bonnieeslinger.