Massage shop where tourist died was operating illegally

The Lotus Massage shop in central Pattaya, where a Spanish customer died onMOnday night was found to be unlicensed and will face legal action. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

CHON BURI: The massage shop in central Pattaya where a 67-year-old Spanish man died during an "oily" on Monday night was operating illegally and the masseuse was unlicensed, a senior health official said on Wednesday.

The Department of Health Service Support's Chon Buri branch office and the provincial health office had checked and found that the shop, in Bang Lamung district, had no operating licence, Dr Pathaphol Juengsomchetphaisarn, director of the department’s health establishments division said.

However all staff except the masseuse who attended to the elderly Spaniard had licences to provide the service, he said.

The provincial health office would take legal action against the shop and the unregistered masseuse.

The tourist, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, fell unconscious while getting an oil massage at Lotus Massage in tambon Nong Prue late on Monday night.

The tourist had been rushed to Pattaya Memorial Hospital by the time police arrived after being alerted  around 11.30pm.  

Shop owner Kinphana Phonngamdee, 47, told them the man had been there for a massage 4-5 times before. On Monday he phoned and said he wanted one last massage before going back to Spain for treatment for an illness.

When he arrived he went to the second floor. He brought his personal massage cream and wanted an abdominal massage. The woman had massaged his belly for about 15 minutes when he suddenly went into shock.

The masseuse immediately rushed downstairs to tell her what happened, Ms Kinphana said.

The tourist was rushed to a hospital, but was pronounced dead on the way. His body was later taken to the Police General Hospital for a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death.

Pending the report, police initially assumed the man had died of a chronic disease.

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