Tamara Napikova & Irina Alkhimova
Monsey - Two more women working in a Rockland County spa have been arrested in a police investigation into alleged prostitution.
The latest arrests were made after Ramapo police began an investigation into N&Y Ultimate Service Spa at 12A N. Airmont Road.
Police launched a sting operation after receiving information about suspected prostitution at the spa.
An undercover officer visited the establishment Wednesday night.
As a result, two women were arrested.
No customers were in the spa at the time.
Irina Alkhimova, 34, of Brooklyn was charged with one county of count of unauthorized practice of a profession, a felony, and one count of prostitution, a misdemeanor.
Tamara Napikova, 26, of Manhattan was charged with unauthorized practice of a profession.
Instances of New York City women, usually from Asia or Russia, working in suburban spas and nail salons, and accused of working in sex trades have become more common.
In October, a Queens woman was arrested in an undercover investigation into possible prostitution at New City Spa, 59 Main St.
Nine women were arrested in a sweep of five spas in New City, Nanuet and Bardonia in 2006.
Another was arrested in a spa in Central Nyack in August 2010.
Businesses offering body massages along with offers of sex have been a problem across Rockland for years, leading to periodic police investigations.
The businesses often operate in strip mall storefronts or office buildings.
"It's insidious," said Sonia Ossorio, executive director of the National Organization for Women in New York City.
"These nail salons, spas, massage parlors are fronts for the international sex trade," Ossorio said.
The organization has been monitoring the growth of such criminal enterprises and their links to human trafficking .
"These criminal enterprises are global in scope and they are very sophisticated," she said.
Investigators in Rockland have tried to determine if the women were forced into the sex trade by smugglers who brought them into the country illegally.
The two women arrested Wednesday night were arraigned in the Airmont Village Court.
Alkhimova was released on $2,500 bail and Napikova was released on $1,500 bail.
Both suspect were due in court Thursday night.