Kuwaiti authorities have arrested 41 men for engaging in homosexual prostitution services at massage parlours in the capital Kuwait City.
The men, all Asians, were charging 10 dinars ($33) for the sexual services offered under the guise of massages, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Sunday.
They were arrested during a raid conducted by a ministerial joint committee made up of representatives from the interior ministry, the immigration and the manpower authority tasked with ensuring full compliance with the labour market regulations.
A committee source said that an undercover member was sent ahead to the parlour to negotiate the sexual session and pay the 10 dinar fee ($33). Once the committee had the confirmation that the massage parlour was breaking the law, it conducted the raid and arrested those implicated.
"During the raid, we found sexual toys and substances, women's underwear and make up kits in some parlours," Mohammad Al Dhufairi, the head of the joint committee, said. "We are serious about the full application of the law and we will continue our zero-tolerance policy towards abusers and violators," he said.
Abdullah Al Mutawtah, the acting head of the manpower authority, said that the raid was part of the campaign to eliminate abuses and loopholes in the labour market.
"We netted 41 workers who were not complying with the labour laws and regulations and they were referred to the competent authorities for legal action," he said.
Kuwaiti authorities have had at times to move against massage parlours that were in fact fronts for prostitution and, in some cases, blackmail.
In November 2013, four women were arrested for involvement in sexual services at a massage parlour in the bustling area of Salmiya.
An Asian woman was held for agreeing to take money for her sexual services, but upon a close scrutiny of the place by the police detectives, cameras concealed in fire extinguishers were found.
The detectives eventually found that three other Asian women in the apartment next door used the cameras to record the sexual acts on computers. The footage is subsequently used to blackmail the unsuspecting customers for money.
By Habib Toumi
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