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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Defunct Guam Spa Connected To Drugs, Sex Trafficking
MGM Spa in Tamuning subject of Navy investigation in 2010

By Brett Kelman

HAGTA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 12, 2012) – On Guam, a shuttered spa in Tamuning that allegedly hosted illegal poker games is also allegedly linked to narcotics and sex trafficking, according to recently released military criminal investigation documents.

In addition to the poker and baccarat games, the MGM Spa is accused of selling methamphetamine, marijuana and ecstasy, according to the documents, which were filed in the District Court of Guam on Monday afternoon.

The spa owner, Wai Kam Ho, also allegedly owns a brothel in Tumon, which masquerades as a massage parlor attached to the Club Crazy Horse strip club. Narcotics are also sold at the strip club, the court documents allege.

And finally, the documents reveal new details about the extent of gambling that allegedly went on at the MGM Spa. In addition to smaller games of poker, the spa allegedly hosted a "high-roller table" with a minimum bet of $10,000, according to the documents.

These documents come from the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, or NCIS, which investigated the spa back in 2010. Because the spa was frequented by sailors and airmen, the NCIS worked alongside FBI and DEA agents while investigating the spa, the documents state.

"The MGM Spa has been officially closed for a couple of years; however, the owner is reportedly using the illegal underground gambling activities to launder money obtained from the sale and distribution of narcotics," state the NCIS documents, which summarize the investigation, which was ongoing at that time.

In December 2010 -- about six months after these NCIS documents were created -- FBI agents raided the spa and several other related businesses, including the Crazy Horse strip club. The investigation has since entered federal court, where seven suspects were indicted for their alleged roles in the gambling conspiracy.

However, the indictment doesn't include any charges related to drugs or sex trafficking, and these allegations haven't been made public until now. The charges in the federal case are related to gambling and money laundering only.

Wai Kam Ho and his wife, Betsy Ho, are accused of being at the center of the scheme.

Betsy Ho is the president of the Overseas Chinese Association Center, which allegedly orchestrated illegal gambling under the guise of legal, nonprofit bingo, according to federal court documents. The group was supposed to make donations with its bingo profits, but never did, court documents allege.

The NCIS documents were filed in federal court because they are exhibits in a motion to dismiss the case. Wai Kam Ho's attorney, David Lujan, argues that the NCIS documents prove that this case involves "military personnel enforcing civilian criminal laws." Lujan couldn't be reached for comment.

The MGM Spa still sits shuttered in Tamuning. Graffiti mars the walls of the building, and a rusty chain is padlocked onto the front doors.

Alleged brothel

According to the allegations in NCIS documents, the MGM spa wasn't the only building that hid alleged criminal activity.

Wai Kam Ho also owns the Crazy Horse strip club, a three-story blue-and-pink building behind the police precinct on Fujita Road in Tumon.

Attached to the strip club was once the Ace of Hearts massage parlor, which was allegedly a front for a brothel, according to the documents.

The NCIS documents state that a confidential informant told investigators in 2010 that the alleged brothel employed Chinese women who were rotated through the Crazy Horse building every two weeks. The apartments above the strip club were also used by the brothel, the informant said, according to the NCIS documents.

"(An informant) stated they have had a conversation with one of the Chinese females who explained they did not want to be there," the NCIS documents state. "(The informant) stated several of the Chinese women would have the appearance of shyness and depression."

FBI agents raided the Crazy Horse building at the same time they raided the MGM Spa in 2010, although the court documents filed in relation to the raid made no mention of a brothel in the building.

The building that was once the Ace of Heart massage parlor is now a massage parlor under a different name.

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