A Coalition candidate has quit after it emerged he owns a Frankston brothel called Paradise Playmates.
Taiwan-born massage therapist John Min-Chiang Hsu resigned as the Liberal Party candidate for the Victorian seat of Calwell after his ties to the brothel were revealed on Saturday.
The Victorian Liberal Party said in a statement it had come to its attention that Mr Hsu had “not fully declared his business interests prior to applying for endorsement as required”.
“Mr Hsu has resigned, with immediate effect, as an endorsed candidate of the Liberal Party and has resigned as a member of the party,” the statement said.
“Given the AEC’s nomination deadlines the Liberal Party will not be running an endorsed candidate in the division of Calwell.”
According to company documents, Mr Hsu also owns a company called Beautiful Life Natural Therapies, which runs three Melbourne massage establishments: CBD Massage, Five Star Massage and Sabaydee Thai Massage Day Spa.
It’s believed at least Sabaydee offers sexual services because it appears on a review website for sex work.
Mr Hsu denied owning the brothel but was unable to explain why company records show it is registered to a man with the same name, address and date of birth as him.
“These are false allegation. Completely false. I don’t know why they are being spread by email,” Mr Hsu told News Limited.
Mr Hsu was unlikely to pose much of a challenge to incumbent Maria Vamvakinou, who has held the safe Labor seat since 2001, but his departure in scandalous circumstances is still a blow for the Coalition.
The Liberal Party had previously described Mr Hsu as a “passionate supporter of small business”.
Paradise Playmates has made headlines before – Victorian authorities found a Chinese woman hidden in a secret cavity in one of its walls in 2013.
The woman was on a tourist visa, meaning she was not allowed to work. At the time the brothel’s owners were named as Zian Meng and Jian Xu.
The six-room licensed brothel, which offers both erotic massage and full sex services for between $60 and $350 with Thai and Chinese women, is billed on its website as the “best brothel in Frankston”.
“Our ladies are professional, discreet and caring. We pride ourselves in offering you only the best and believe our ladies are the best,” the site says.
“We offer a personal, professional and memorable experience thanks to our outstanding and fine ladies. Our service is first class.”
The “intro lounge” is described as “big and classy” – with a selection of porn playing on a big flat-screen TV to keep clients entertained while they wait. Rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated.