After the assumption that running an escort agency or brothel is illegal, the biggest mistaken assumption about Barcelona escort agencies is that everyone involved in running them is some kind of gangster. And that they use the agencies as a front for all sorts of illegal and nefarious activities. That was the one that had given Dave and his business partner Saskia the biggest headaches. It was the one that meant that if they did not want to be treated like a fly under glass having its wings pulled off, they needed cover stories for people they met socially for the first time. Which actually was useful trade craft anyway and Dave was happy with from one of his former careers.
The reality was rather different. Not that there were not gangsters in the escort ad prostitution business. There were and are. But they do not often get involved in the escort business. It just does not fit easily with their business model. Frankly, working with the most attractive escort Malaga has to offer is a major pain if you are a gangster. Let us say that you are nasty sleazeball scumbag and that you want to traffic girls illegally for the sex business. If you have a brothel, it is not a hard job to basically turn it into a prison camp.
But if you are running an escort agency you need to transport each of your prisoners to their appointments with a driver, who then needs to take them to the client´s room or apartment and wait outside so the girl cannot escape. Then you have to take them back to their base or to the next client. That is all very expensive and eats into your profits. The other option, of course, is to effectively blackmail them that if they do not come back their families back in the home country will suffer. But you will still suffer losses and the fear of threats like that wanes over time. So the disgusting pigs who force women into being trafficked tend to run brothels and also to keep a low profile.