Police in Malaysia, where sodomy is a crime, have raided a gay sex party and arrested 37 men, including a Briton.

According to AP, police chief Azam Abdul Hamid said officers acting on a public tip-off had raided a fitness centre in northern Penang island on Sunday while a sex party was in progress.

The men arrested were aged between 20 and 45.

Apart from the Briton and a Chinese national, all the men were ethnic Chinese Malaysians, including three who worked at the centre.

Police found used condoms, seven tubes of lubricant, 20 gay magazines, four pornographic videos and six boxes of new condoms.

“Based on our information, the centre was regularly used for these gay activities.” Mr Hamid told the Associated Press.

“This is against our culture, our way of life.”

The operator of the premises could lose his business licence, while the men – who have now been released – could be charged with committing “unnatural sex acts.”

Homosexuality is not specified as a crime in Malaysia, but there is a law prohibiting sodomy, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and whipping.

Mr Hamid added that police were also carrying out surveillance at other centres suspected of allowing gay sex under an ongoing operation to check vice activities in Penang island.