Cloud 9 massage parlour at 932 Stanley St East, East Brisbane in 2017. Picture: Marc Robertson/AAP
Cloud 9 massage parlour at 932 Stanley St East, East Brisbane in 2017. Picture: Marc Robertson/AAP

Pisasale-linked massage parlour ‘a brothel’: prosecutors

A MASSAGE and waxing parlour with links to former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale is back in the sights of investigators over allegations it operated as an illegal brothel.

Korean-born Choonhwa "Pam" Lee, 44, is defending charges she was running an illegal prostitution business from her Cloud 9 massage parlour off a busy main road in East Brisbane.

Prosecutors allege Lee ran an illegal brothel between November 2015 and December 2017.

Police also allege money seized during raids on the Stanley St East business on December 18, 2015, and on December 7, 2017, are suspected to be the proceeds of crime.

Cannabis was also allegedly seized in the 2017 raid.

The Courier-Mail understands Lee had been of interest to the Crime and Corruption Commission as part of its now-closed investigation into allegations into Pisasale.

Cloud 9 first came into the spotlight in July 2017 when Pisasale's former driver alleged he had driven the then-mayor to brothels and massage parlours with developers. That allegedly included Cloud 9, sometime in the second half of 2015.

Lee, who surrendered her passport as part of her bail conditions, has pleaded not guilty after being hit with four offences in December 2017.

Prosecutors resisted any further delays in hearing the charges last December, arguing it had more than a dozen witnesses and "days of video/audio recordings".

Lee, wearing a dress and fluffy, rainbow-coloured slippers, told The Courier-Mail last week she was having a tooth removed at the dentist when police raided the property, which she bought in 2015 for $1.25 million.

The property includes an ATM and security camera screens in the foyer. Three young women were sitting on a couch staring at their phones when The Courier-Mail arrived.

Lee did not think Pisasale visited often and had been unaware he was mayor until the "girls told me".

"I don't know why (the) mayor would come here," she said.

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale. Picture: Peter Wallis
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale. Picture: Peter Wallis

Police laid two charges in 2015 against Lee for allegedly running a brothel and having $51,400 in allegedly tainted funds. But prosecutors dropped the charges in 2016, laying fresh charges about a year later.

Developer Chris Zenonos has previously told The Courier-Mail he guided Pisasale's driver to the massage parlour in 2015 as the mayor was seeking treatment for a multiple sclerosis flare up. Mr Zenonos, who has not been charged with any offence, said he then left.

Pisasale is alleged to have corruptly agreed to take $50,000 from Mr Zenonos in exchange for arranging a price cut for council company-owned land that was bought by Mr Zenonos's firm.

The former mayor is defending charges, including perjury and illegal possession of a sex drug.