Massage parlour bribery denied

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 November, 1995, 12:00am

A WEB of bribery, vice and corruption linking police and a massage parlour operator who plotted the downfall of his competitors was described yesterday in the District Court.

Former senior police inspector Lai Kin-keung told the court how over the course of a year he had accepted bribes of $20,000 a month from Yip Hoi-fai.

The arrangement lasted from June 1993 until the following August, Lai said. The officer was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on November 2 last year.

Yip, 34, denies bribing a police officer and misleading an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) agent, but has admitted operating unlicensed massage parlours.

In early 1993, the court heard, Yip walked into Lai's office in Mongkok police station and asked why police were targeting his six parlours. Lai replied it was because police had been told heroin was being sold in Yip's establishments.

It was then Yip hinted he would pay Lai in exchange for information about future raids, crackdowns on his competitors and an end to raids on his parlours.

Yip told Lai he had videotapes of police officers beating suspects.

'He suggested $20,000 to look after his establishment,' Lai told the court. 'In June or July 1993 he began to pay me.

'The payments were made each month. We would get into my car or his car and the money would be handed over. In each case it was cash.' Even after Lai was transferred from Mongkok in April 1994, he continued to feed Yip information about raids and 'snakes' (undercover police officers).

On October 29, last year, the ICAC launched a crackdown on corrupt officers and brothel operators in which Lai was arrested.

The trial continues today before Judge Wong.