Gold Coast police operation targets illegal sex trade

A major police operation has lifted the lid on the illegal sex trade on the Gold Coast.

More than half a dozen massage parlours have been busted, with officers catching one alleged culprit in the act.

Suburbs including Burleigh Waters, Mermaid Beach, Southport, Nerang and Mudgeeraba were targeted by 40 specialist officers, who executed search warrants at alleged illegal brothels as part of Operation Papa Validate.

One illegal sex worker was allegedly caught in the act. Source: 7 News

Seven massage parlours on the Gold Coast have been raided this week alone.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has praised the move.

"I welcome the police raid and taking it, you know, proactively to stamp out illegal activities," he said.

Individual workers offering sex to customers is only illegal if management is aware of the activity.

Investigators therefore seized computers, documents and mobile phones in a bid to prove such practice.

Dozens of massage parlours across the Gold Coast have been targeted. Source: 7 News

During the busts, a Taiwanese and Malaysian woman were allegedly caught working in breach of their visas and are likely to be deported.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.