Beauty parlour accused of sexual activities fined for offering treatments without license

Primo Remedy shut down in January this year. Pic: Google Street View

A beauty parlour business offering massage, acupuncture and herbal treatments in Tower Hamlets has been fined £500 for continuing treatments without the appropriate license.  

Primo Remedy, the parlour at Wentworth Street, is like other beauty establishments, required a special license to ensure they offer these treatments safely.  

In January, director Min Zhang, and her company Z&Z823 Ltd, were prosecuted by Tower Hamlets Council for operating without a license. Both parties pleaded guilty in court.  

Zhang was fined  £1,200 along with additional costs and a victim surcharge, while the company itself has been fined £500. The company shut down in January.  

Councillor Kabir Hussain, Tower Hamlets Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Emergency said in a statement: “It is essential that business owners comply with all the relevant regulations needed to keep staff and customers safe. Failing to do so can be dangerous. 

“Council teams are actively inspecting premises to ensure they are following all the necessary regulations and we will prosecute those who are not.” 

The case of Primo Remedy comes amidst renewed scrutiny of massage parlours in East London.  

Previous allegations  

In a licensing hearing back in 2022, Primo Remedy was one of three east London massage parlours, which were accused of running “brothel-type” establishments.  

The licensing committee heard how the Primo Remedy allegedly offered a witness a “special massage” and referred to a “handy” before making a hand gesture over the mans chest in October 2021.  

Prior to that, the witness was ordered to take off their underwear by the worker and did not offer them anything to cover up with.

Speaking to the committee, Tom Lewis of the licensing and safety team said the premises operated in an improper manner.  “In conclusion, the massage premises offering services of a sexual nature are often associated with exploitation of vulnerable females and give rise to an increase risk of infectious disease.” 

Test purchases conducted by the council revealed instances where customers were purportedly offered illicit services, prompting environmental health and safety teams to advise against renewing special treatment licenses for these venues. 

However, Nigel Carter who represented Min Zhang contested the accounts, calling them hearsay and emphasised the need for concrete evidence. 

He said: “[The witness] refers to being offered a special massage and then a ‘handy’ while the therapist makes a hand gesture over his waist, he doesn’t say what the hand gesture was or that it was mimicking masturbation and goes on to say the gesture was over his waist and not his genitals.” 

He added “anything extra” could be referring to a number of things and not a sexual service. 

Leave a Reply