Hong Kong police arrest 14 women, close 11 massage parlours offering sex services

Hong Kong police have arrested 14 women after raiding and closing down 11 unlicensed massage parlours that also provided sexual services in the New Territories.

Chief Inspector Wong Lung, a deputy Tuen Mun divisional commander, said on Thursday that the operation carried out the day before was in response to an increasing number of such unlicensed premises in ageing buildings in the district.

“Criminals are using unlicensed massage parlours as a front to provide sexual services,” Wong said. “These unlawful activities not only disrupt the peace for residents in the area but also facilitate other criminal behaviour.”

He said officers from the Tuen Mun task force had identified 11 flats in their investigation.

The force raided the premises with the help of the Police Tactical Unit, arresting 14 women aged between 32 and 57.

The chief inspector said one of the women was a visitor from mainland China.

The 14 were detained on suspicion of operating a vice establishment, running an unlicensed massage parlour or breaching conditions of stay.

During the operation, code-named “Swordswing”, officers seized massage tables and signboards along with items such as condoms and bottles of massage oil.

Wong reminded flat owners and tenants that allowing their homes to be used as vice establishments was a violation of the Crimes Ordinance and punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The investigation was still under way.

In Hong Kong, running an unlicensed massage parlour carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a HK$50,000 fine.

A police source said there was no evidence to suggest a syndicate was behind the illegal activities.

“We will closely monitor the situation and will take action to crack down on any syndicates if we discover their presence later,” the insider said.

All the suspects have been released on bail pending further investigation, according to police.

Wong said the force would continue to combat such activities in the district.

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