One of Sydney's largest councils has launched legal action to close an underground brothel. To win, it not only has to prove that sex is being sold on the premises - but lots of it.

North Sydney Council is understood to have paid for at least one private investigator to go undercover inside the White Cat at Crows Nest and have sex in order to try and convince a magistrate that its two previous closure orders were flouted. The court action follows an investigation by The Sun-Herald in October which found that the same business was promoting a two-tiered pricing system in which Asian workers were being offered for $90 less than the standard $250 hourly rate charged by caucasian women

But the court case, which commenced on Wednesday, is expected to hinge on how much sex the council can prove takes place within the building after a landmark decision went against neighbouring Hornsby Council, in almost identical circumstances, in February.

In that matter, the council spent almost $100,000 attempting to close an alleged illegal parlour located next door to a children's learning centre. A magistrate, however, ruled that council had not proved there was enough sex being sold on the premises for it to fit NSW's definition of "brothel", which requires more than one prostitute to be providing services on site.

(24/5/2015 extracted from Sydney Morning Herald)

在補習社旁邊,在名女校附近提供性服務當然要取締。我奇怪的是這不是警察的工作嗎?在香港,那些按摩院,指壓中心,浴足池,經常都有掃黃的警員喬裝僱客去搜集證據。議定價錢,進行交易之際,臨崖勒馬,推說有事,先行告退。到了第二次也重施故技,時機成熟就召集其他警察來拉人。另一做法就是同一時間兩名警員喬裝行事,為的是要符合法律上 'wholly or mainly' 的要求。在這些場所的性工作者也很醒目,會問恩客的職業,索取卡片,確保不是警察喬裝。如果警察話自己是做地盤的,這妓女會摸下他的手是否粗糙,看他膚色是否黝黑,以免中圈套。這都是因為這些色情場所(vice establisment)提供超過一個妓女的風險。於是,到了90年代,就成熟發展成個體戶的一樓一鳳來。做妓女在香港並不犯法,只有誘使他人作不道德行為(soliciting for immoral purpose)才犯法,即是在街上擠眉弄眼拉客。如果沒有在街上拉客,一人企業,並不犯法。嫖妓也不犯法,但嫖客在街上問價,同樣干犯這法例,當然是要女警扮鳳姐放蛇。



"brothel" means premises:
(a) habitually used for the purposes of prostitution, or
(b) that have been used for the purposes of prostitution and are likely to be used again for that purpose, or
(c) that have been expressly or implicitly:
(i) advertised (whether by advertisements in or on the premises, newspapers, directories or the internet or by other means), or
(ii) represented,as being used for the purposes of prostitution, and that are likely to be used for the purposes of prostitution.

Hornsby Council功虧一簣的就是'habitually'這個字,只去放蛇一次就不能説那地方經常進行賣淫活動了。有先例參考,我真不明白North Sydney怎會重蹈覆轍。

悉尼沒有像香港那種一樓一鳳,通常都以按摩為幌子,而提供各式性服務。要按摩就要搞清楚,别去錯地方,否則亂按亂摸弄傷了身體就慘了。港式的一樓一鳳,在悉尼反而會犯法,因為政府可向法庭申請,declare該地方不能進行賣淫活動,繼續經營可控告owner and occupier,一樓一鳳就難以經營了。

9 則留言:

  1. Dear bill siu,

    I am a student with no background of education in law. I would like to ask a question related to law in HK about forensic mental health.

    I have heard that there is the issue of 'fitness to stand trial' in some jurisdictions. To my understanding, if the accused is determined by the judge as unfit, he will not face the trial in court. Instead, the court may impose treatment or hospital order. Does the law stated in Cap 136 sec 44D apply to the above-mentioned cases?

    Thank you.
    PH Wong

    1. PH

      The relevant law should be S.75 Cap 221 Criminal Procedure Ordinance at the outset. Then S.44D comes to play. Though unfit for plea the accused may be and there is no trial to decide the guilt, evidence will still be heard as to what he/she has done or facts agreed by the defence on his/her behalf coupled with the psychiastrist's disagnosis.

    2. Thank you very much!

  2. In your article '悉尼妓院‘ you query why the city council is taking enforcement action instead of police.

    For some reason I can't post on your blog, so I am sending you an email instead.

    From my experience dealing with this issue in Melbourne, I believe that:-
    1. There are too many of them and police doesn't have the resources to deal with each and every one proactively - unless it is suspected syndicated crime is involved;
    2. Use of land is regulated by local government. I am certain that using of the subject land as 'brothel' is prohibited in this case thus Council intervened.

    This enforcement mode is certainly not idea, as illegal brothel is often controlled by syndicate and council officers are not best equipped to handle matter like this. And in fact that some Council officers were convicted for taking bribes from illegal brothel.



    To tackle this, VIC state government declared the police to be the lead agent to deal with illegal brothel.


    Planning law enforcement is often complicated. happy to discuss further if you are interested ;-)


    1. Thank you for the enlightenment. I learn from comments every day. I know in NSW it has to do with the Restricted Premises Act 1943 and do not know the details. HK operates in a very different manner.

  3. "悉尼是可以合法經營妓院(brothel)的" - I trust it was something else to cause you to settle down in Sydney.

    1. Do I appear to you to be a pimp or a disorderly house owner or being sleazy?

  4. 「悉尼是可以合法經營妓院(brothel)的」


    1. 老弟,開妓寨也只是小商戶,鳳者是自僱人士。