State Agency To Investigate Human Trafficking

Barbara Schwarz
January 28, 2020 - 7:34 am
Texas Capitol building

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - You might think of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation as the folks who keep tabs on electricians and hairstylists. But they have created an eight member Anti-trafficking Unit. 

These agents, who are currently in training, will work with all law enforcement agencies to investigate suspicious massage parlors and more.  

TDLR executive director Brian Francis says "in the nail salon, what we're looking for is labor trafficking. Are they keeping them and making them work 14 hours a day, no days off.  Are they making them live on the premises.  Are they transporting them in a van back and forth." 

He adds salons that charge ultra low prices are more likely than others to be offenders.

He says as far as massage parlors go, the investigators will visit places that don't look legitimate. Often these parlors are front for forced prostitution. "Their windows are covered or are darkened.  They have images that are provocative for advertising. Their hours are 24 hours a day. There's all these things that say this is not a legitimate business."

He says women are sometimes forced to live at both parlors, and customers should look for things like cots and groceries in the establishments.