Bangkok’s Mega-Brothels Are Causing City To Sink

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Officials in Bangkok are investigating the city's 'mega brothels' after evidence showed they appear to be stealing groundwater for 'soapy massages.'

Police believe water was being stolen by more than 40 soapy massage parlours, which have been illegally siphoning off groundwater to avoid paying utility bills.

By doing so, officials say, they are literally causing the low-lying city to sink.

The practice was discovered during raids on brothels in a crackdown on underage sex workers. Although prostitution is illegal in Thailand, authorities turn a blind eye.

Investigators also found a ledger listing bribes to officials during the raid.

Experts warn that parts of Bangkok will be under water by 2030 because of rising sea levels and groundwater draining into the capital's swampy soil.

At its peak the city was sinking at about 10cm a year in the late 1970s.

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