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Durham spa owner faces prostitution charges after trafficking tip, investigators say

Durham spa owner faces prostitution charges after trafficking tip, investigators say

The Neon Moon Spa in Durham was the target of a investigation resulting in the arrest of Lian Jin Xu, of Cary on April 11 by Durham County deputies in connection with illegal activity at a massage parlor.
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The Neon Moon Spa in Durham was the target of a investigation resulting in the arrest of Lian Jin Xu, of Cary on April 11 by Durham County deputies in connection with illegal activity at a massage parlor.

A woman has been arrested and two men are being sought in connection with illegal sexual activity at massage parlors in Durham County, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lian Jin Xu, of Cary, was arrested April 11 by Durham County deputies, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

They are looking for Quan Chun Li, 56, and Kwang Koo, 65, who also have been charged in the case.

Investigators say they developed evidence that illegal activity was taking place inside the business they say Xu operated. Detectives were monitoring activity at the Neon Moon Spa on South Miami Boulevard, the release said.

The investigation began after law enforcement received a tip about human trafficking, investigators said.

According to experts, it's important to understand the differences between prostitution, which is voluntary, and sex trafficking, which can trap victims with involuntary sex work.

Xu was charged with promoting prostitution, continuing criminal enterprise and felony conspiracy, investigators say. She was being held in the Durham County jail under a $250,000 secured bail, the release says.

People with information about this case or suspect similar activity are asked to call Durham Crimestoppers at 919-683-1200 or the Durham County Sheriff’s Office at 919-560-7151.

Traffickers use coercion and fraud to lure their victims into forced labor and sexual exploitation in illicit massage businesses. Here’s a look into how that human trafficking system works.

Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.
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