10 women arrested, 41 massage parlours checked in anti-vice operations

Ten women were arrested during a two-week islandwide operation targetting unlicensed massage establishments.

The police said in a news release that the women were arrested for offences under the Women's Charter and Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

The police also detected 14 massage establishments to be operating without a valid licence.

During the operations, which took place between Mar 1 and 14, the police checked 41 massage establishments across 15 neighbourhoods including Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, Changi, Choa Chu Kang, Orchard, Jalan Besar, Jurong West, Paya Lebar, Serangoon, Tanjong Pagar, Toa Payoh and Upper Thomson.

Investigations are ongoing.

If found guilty, the operators of the unlicensed massage parlours will face enhanced penalties under the new Massage Establishments Act (MEA).

First-time offenders will be sentenced to a fine of up to $10,000 or a jail term of up to two years, or both.

Repeat offenders face a jail term of up to five years and a S$20,000 fine.

The police said that they will be enhancing checks on all massage establishments and will not hesitate to take tough regulatory action against operators of unlicensed massage establishments, landlords who knowingly lease their premises to unlicensed operators and errant licensees found to have contravened any provisions, rules and licensing conditions under the new MEA.