Reports are surfacing of the "dingy Colombian love club" where President Obama's Secret Service agents allegedly picked up hookers ahead of the Summit of the Americas conference in Cartagena, according to the New York Daily News.
A windowless, one-story brick building with neon signs and a public shower, the club (called the Pley Club) is a far cry from the 5-star hotel where the agents were staying.
"The gringos got rowdy at the bar," one of the locals said. "They drank fine whiskey and slept with the prettiest ones, the ones that charge 300,000 pesos (about $180)."
He continued, "Some did not want to pay. To make it worse, they almost beat up employees who wanted them to pay up."
However, the club's manager told the New York Daily News that, to the best of his knowledge, the Secret Service agents never set foot on the premises. The Daily News's sources said otherwise.
Either way, the manager was quick to explain the process whereby his girls sell more than a dance:
'The girls dance for the audience. They put on a show...Then, they walk around and talk to the guys. A dance can cost from 80,000 to 90,000 pesos.
'Then, if they like each other, they negotiate a deal...The tourists come here and have a good time. We don’t let them mistreat the girls. They come to us if someone isn’t treating them right. Customers get drunk, but it never gets out of hand.'
One of the staffers at the Hotel Caribe, where the agents were staying, claims one of the agents started tossing furniture and others flashed their badges to try to settle the matter, after a manager stepped in on behalf of a prostitute who allegedly wasn't paid.
“When the hotel manager showed up, one of the agents starting throwing chairs and tables around...They were showing their badges saying, ‘Look, look who we are!’" The staffer continued, "He didn’t want to pay one of the girls. They had huge egos.”
Though prostitution is legal in parts of Colombia, it violates a basic code of conduct for Secret Service agents to hire hookers. Moreover, it could be grounds for revoking their top-secret security clearance, which every Secret Service agent must have.
President Obama commented on the matter Sunday, saying he will be "angry" if the allegations prove to be true, and he expects a "thorough and rigorous" investigation.