A bar raided by police in downtown Ho Chi Minh City last year / FILE PHOTO
A Ho Chi Minh City official has rejected speculation that the city’s authorities are planning to establish red-light districts, online newspaper VietNamNet reported.
Hua Ngoc Thuan, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, told a meeting Friday that local authorities is drafting a plan to zone “sensitive businesses” like hotels, cafés, massage parlors, bars, discotheques, and karaoke parlors into specific areas.
"Sensitive" here means businesses that carry a high risk of enabling prostitution.
The zoning is for better management and the prevention of social evils, Thuan said.
He was responding to a request for clarifying a zoning plan submitted by Phan Anh Minh, vice director of HCMC’s Police Department, according to the news report.
According to Minh, district authorities told him that they do not want to gather the businesses into specific areas for fear that red-light streets will “flourish.”
Thuan said that besides the plan, the city will continue not licensing new "sensitive" businesses.
HCMC is now home to 30,000 businesses categorized as “sensitive,” VietNamNet reported.
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