Guilty As Sin
First, the English-language South China Morning Post reports:
Sin Kam-Wah, who used to head the Narcotics Bureau, is one of the most senior officers to have been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. His co-accused, businesswoman Lam Chuen-ip, 43, was convicted of three charges of exercising control over other women to engage in prostitution and three of offering an advantage to a government servant, namely Sin.
Judge Saunders ruled that Sin, who accepted free sexual services from four prostitutes who worked for Lam, had not only turned a blind eye to prostitution but taken part in Lam's vice offences. The judge said although Sin was off duty at the time he would be required to perform his duty and take measures to apprehend Lam for engaging in vice offences.
He found it simply "untenable" to say Sin, as an experienced officer in vice and organised crime, was unaware of Lam's trade. Judge Saunders added the case also raised the element of corruption, and that Sin had opened himself up to asked-for favours. "It is the clearest case of `keeping sweet' corruption, where advantages are given to someone in authority, without asking for a quid pro quo at the time the advantage is given, but building a store of goodwill to provide a basis for future corrupt demands."
As befitting the esteemed English-language newspaper of record, the above report is quite succinct regarding the legal points of the case. But what really occurred? Well, you would have to read the Chinese-language tabloids.
In Sing Tao, the following sordid details emerged:
District Judge Saunders indicated that 45-year-old Sin Kam-wah had risen through the police ranks to senior superintendent after 26 years of service and should therefore know that the Tsimshatsui-Yaumati-Shumshuipo districts are hotbeds of prostitution and that it would be absurd for Sin not to know that Lam was offering him prostitution services for free.
The defense argued that Sin patronised the prostitutes while he was off-duty and therefore his private behavior should not be subject to scrutiny. The judge pointed out that while this sounded appealing, all police officers should know that police regulations require that they discharge their duties whenever they observed crimes being committed, including arresting the perpetrators.
In this case, the judge pointed out the Lam was guilty of the crime of procuring which is subject to a maximum jail sentence of 14 years. But Sin not only ignored the crime, but actively participated and enjoyed the free services provided by Lam. This was a serious offense. Given that Lam operated four clubs whose licenses are renewable depending upon the police inspection reports, the judge reasoned that Lam was offering the services of the prostitutes as a bribe.
Lam Chuen-ip had arranged on three occasions for Sin to meet five prostitutes at various hotels. Four of the prostitutes had intercourse with Sin. The prostitute named Ruby testified that Lam was a powerful figure and she dared not object to offering a FFM-service to Sin. 42-year-old female defendant Lam Chuen-ip is the wife of senior superintendent Ng Po-An, and has prior records for gambling (6 times), disorderly conduct (once) and interference with police work (once).
As for the five prostitutes in the case, two of them stayed at a safe house and were guarded by a personal security detail from the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
P.S. Next magazine adds this juicy detail that Ruby complained that Sin must have taken Viagra because he went on for more than 2 hours before finishing.