NewsCrime Desk

Shameless barber runs vice dens posing as beauty parlours in Ireland

Crime DeskBy Denise Smith
Grozdan Petrov
Grozdan Petrov

MEET the shameless Bulgarian barber who is attempting to hire sex workers for his seedy massage parlour – which he is openly running on a busy city centre street.

To his neighbours, Grozdan Petrov is a successful businessman who runs a health studio as well as barber shops in Kildare and Dublin.

However, the Sunday World can reveal that Grozdan is part of a new breed of ‘massage parlour’ owner who are now hiding their seedy businesses in clear sight.

When these sordid massage parlours first reappeared in Ireland more than 10 years ago, they mostly operated in dingy apartments and were not registered as companies.

But now, the Sunday World can reveal that, increasingly, the vice dens – which offer ‘hand relief’ to customers – are formally registered, pay taxes and openly advertise.

Our undercover team first identified Grozdan after answering an advert on an adult website.

It read: “Female massage therapist needed for busy shop in city centre.”

However, after exchanging emails it quickly became apparent that Grozdan had another sort of relief in mind.

Our reporter was told to call to Elite Health Studio in Fairview, Dublin, for an interview.

The studio claims to offer a wide range of massage therapies, but within minutes of meeting, Grozdan made it clear that he was not just in the holistic health business.

In a taped conversation, he told our undercover reporter: “We don’t do here full service, we don’t do sex or blowjob, but the girls do extra for extra money. So you are aware of this. The girls do things for extra money, so for that reason we put our ads in the erotic section.

“Before we never did, but the Chinese girls are doing everything.

“Usually if someone wants a massage they will want hand relief. We have hand relief, and we have topless massage if it’s naked or body-to-body.

“Hand relief is €20, topless is €40 and if it’s naked or body to body – it’s €50.”

Elite Health Studios was registered as a company in September 2009 where it is described as “beauty therapy”.

Grozdan claimed he has been forced to offer sexual services in a bid to save his business. He claimed he would not force staff to perform sex acts.

“If we didn’t provide extras we would have to close the shop. We have girls from all over the world, one who is on holiday now – she’s gone to change her implants.

“Eighty to 90 per cent [of our clients] are Irish. If you don’t like him [your client] you can refuse him as well.

“But it’s up to you what you want to do, so if you are not feeling comfortable with something, all you have to say is, ‘sorry sir, I don’t do it’.

“It’s good money. But it’s up to you – if you decide not to do body to body, you can say to the client, ‘sorry, I don’t do that’.”

However, when confronted by our reporter two days later, Grozdan denied his business offered sexual services to men.

“No, there is nothing like that – it’s my place.”

Advertising any sexual service on a website hosted in this country is illegal, but men will ring and simply ask if “extras” are on offer.

They will then be given an indication that, once they arrive at the parlour, they will be able to get more than the advertised massage.

Grozdan claimed that his staff are extremely well-paid and work shifts in the studio.

“Usually girls are doing two to three hundred euro a day. We are open 11-9 usually two girls working all the time, we have shifts.

“I am the owner I do massages as well, but I don’t have many clients, the clients prefer girls. You only have to be responsible for your own needs, whatever you think you need, any hygienic personal use.”

Gardai believe there are dozens of seedy ‘massage parlours’ operating in Dublin.

The so-called ‘rub and tug’ shops are mostly run by Asian women who simply hand over the cash to their employers, effectively working for the criminal vice merchants as subcontractors.

Last year, the Criminal Assets Bureau discovered a Chinese woman running a brothel had sent €1.2m back to China over three-and-a-half years.

The Sunday World previously revealed how women from Thailand dominate the sleazy trade in Cork city.

Many of the sex workers come from the same poverty-stricken province in

Thailand, but can save €600 a month, the equivalent of a year’s salary for a teacher back home.