Police Sergeant charged with MIPO over operation of two massage parlours
A Police Sergeant has been charged by the ICAC today (October 20) with misconduct in public office (MIPO) for accepting free massage services from a massage parlour for tipping off its manager about impending police operations and pressuring the proprietor of another massage parlour to sell the parlour to a businesswoman at a lower price.
The defendant, 50, faces two counts of MIPO, contrary to Common Law. He will appear at the Kowloon City Magistracy for mention next Tuesday (October 24).
The case arose from two corruption complaints. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above alleged offences.
At the material time, the defendant was a Police Sergeant attached to the Miscellaneous Enquiries Sub-unit of Kowloon City Division. One of his duties was to conduct inspections and decoy operations at massage establishments within the Kowloon City area.
One of the charges alleges that between February 5 and September 19, 2014, the defendant, in the course of or in relation to his public office, without reasonable excuse or justification, wilfully and intentionally misconducted himself by:
• threatening the manager of a massage parlour that she would be arrested instead of masseurs if the Police detected any breaches of the regulations by the masseurs in the massage parlour in subsequent operations;
• offering to tip off the manager by providing to her confidential information on subsequent operations conducted by him or other police officers; and
• accepting massage services without payment on four occasions provided by masseurs in the massage parlour.
The other charge alleges that between February 1 and September 10, 2014, the defendant, in the course of or in relation to his public office, without reasonable excuse or justification, wilfully and intentionally misconducted himself by:
• revealing his police identity and demanding the proprietor of another massage parlour to refund the deposit in the sum of $5,000 paid to her by a businesswoman for the purpose of purchasing that massage parlour; or alternatively sell it to the businesswoman at a lower price; and
• threatening the proprietor during two routine police licence inspections at the massage parlour that if she continued to carry out its business, he would cause harassing acts to her.
The Police has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.
The defendant has been released on ICAC bail, pending his court appearance next Tuesday.