25 women arrested for allegedly working as freelance hostesses

Amanda Lee
The Straits Times
May 6, 2022

Five entertainment outlets were found to have purportedly breached a raft of rules during enforcement checks on 238 public entertainment outlets between April 27 and Tuesday (May 3).

In a statement on Friday, the police said that 25 women have also been arrested for allegedly working as freelance hostesses without a valid work permit at four of the outlets.

The women, who are of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese nationalities, are aged between 24 and 53 years old.

The operators of the outlets are currently under investigation.

All nightlife businesses, such as karaoke establishments, pubs and nightclubs, are allowed to reopen since April 19 with Covid-19 safety measures in place.

During checks on an outlet at Sim Lim Square, seven women of Vietnamese and Chinese nationalities, aged between 24 and 53, were found allegedly working as hostesses, providing companionship and drinking with patrons.

The women were purportedly working without valid work permits and were arrested under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

The outlet was also found to have purportedly operated with recorded music and supplied liquor across five different units.

However, the operator held valid public entertainment licences for only four of these units and a valid liquor licence for one of the units.

The operator is being investigated for offences under the Public Entertainments Act and the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act.

The checks were conducted by the police, together with the Singapore Tourism Board, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore Food Agency and Singapore Land Authority.

They were part of efforts to ensure a safe resumption of nightlife businesses in Singapore, the statement said.

The offence of providing public entertainment without a valid licence carries a fine of up to $20,000, while the offence of supplying liquor outside of licensed premises carries a fine not exceeding $10,000.

For non-compliance with safe distancing measures, those found guilty may be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $10,000, or both.

The Straits Times

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