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2. Keeping a Vice Establishment

It is an offence contrary to section 139 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200) to keep any premises, vessel or place as a vice establishment, or to manage or assist in the management, or be in control or in charge of any premises, vessel or place, kept as a vice establishment.


The maximum penalty for this offence is 3 years imprisonment upon summary conviction and 10 years imprisonment upon conviction on indictment.


A vice establishment is defined in section 117(3) of the Ordinance as a place, premises or vessel used wholly or mainly by 2 or more persons for the purposes of prostitution or used wholly or mainly in connection with the organizing or arranging of prostitution. Whether that definition is satisfied in the particular case is a question of fact.


The prosecution must prove that the defendant knew the premises were a vice establishment and that the defendant kept, managed, assisted in the management, or being in charge or control of the operation of the premises as a vice establishment.