Four people have been charged with running a vice establishment at an unlicensed Hong Kong massage parlour where the deputy chief of police’s National Security Department was found in March.
The man accused of operating the Viet Spa in Wan Chai, and three women, appeared at Eastern Court on Wednesday where they were charged with six offences, including four related to offering sex services in a facility.
Although Frederic Choi Chin-pang, senior assistant commissioner and director of national security, is not involved in the case or named in court documents, a police source confirmed that Viet Spa in Senior Building, Johnston Road, was the unlicensed massage parlour the senior officer was found in during an anti-vice raid in March.
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The Post exclusively reported last month that the 50-year-old officer was put on leave for nearly a month over suspected misconduct.
An initial investigation has cleared Choi of illegal or immoral conduct. The force submitted its initial report to the Department of Justice last month, and is waiting for a response before opening a disciplinary hearing on Choi, who remains on leave. The force said it had no further comment on the matter.
The anti-triad team responsible for prosecuting the four suspects had sent officers to the Wan Chai flat on three occasions between October 28 and December 2 last year, before police raided the place on March 19, the prosecution filing revealed.
The four defendants are Wu Ping-hung, 61, Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, 34, and masseuses Li Yiqing and Zhang Mingfang, aged 36 and 35, respectively.
Wu was charged with keeping a vice establishment and operating an unlicensed massage venue.
Nguyen and Zhang were each charged with a count of managing a vice establishment. Nguyen and Li face a separate joint count of managing a vice establishment, and another joint count of managing an unlicensed massage establishment.
The four were not required to enter a plea, as their lawyers asked for time to review the prosecution evidence and offer legal advice to the defendants. Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen scheduled the next hearing for July 21, before releasing the four on cash bail between HK$500 and HK$5,000.
Operators of unlicensed massage parlours face six months behind bars and a HK$50,000 (US$6,400) fine, although buying services on such premises is legal.
Anyone who operates or manages a vice establishment can face up to three years in prison if the case is heard in magistrates’ court.
Additional reporting by Clifford Lo