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The Straits Times
Oct 4, 2022
The 11 women hid their faces with their hands, surrounded by policemen in plainclothes during a raid on a massage parlour in Balestier Road.
The women, all believed to be Chinese nationals, were purportedly engaged in vice-related activities and were arrested for offences under the Women's Charter.
They wore heavy make-up and some were dressed skimpily. The Straits Times witnessed the raid on Sept 30.
A few metres away, in individual booths, some men said to be customers were assisting with police investigations.
A male Chinese national believed to be the operator of the two-storey unit crouched in a corner by the door.
At 3pm, the suspects lined up against a wall and had their statements taken. They were then led to a police vehicle and taken away at 4.30pm.
Multiple bags containing hundreds of condoms were seized.
The crackdown was part of a multi-agency enforcement operation conducted between Sept 24 and Oct 1. It was led by Tanglin Police Division and supported by the Central Narcotics Bureau, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Customs.
The operation, which covered locations such as Balestier Road, Orchard Road and Clarke Quay, saw 40 people investigated for alleged involvement in vice, illegal gambling and gang activities. They were aged between 20 and 81.
At around 5pm on Sept 30, Tanglin Police Division officers raided another massage parlour, housed in a condominium unit in Sophia Road.
A woman, believed to be a Chinese national, was arrested. She rented the two-bedroom unit and allegedly advertised sexual services online.
The unit contained massage beds and what appeared to be facial machines. Displayed prominently on a table were two certificates which claimed that the woman was a beauty specialist.
However, in screenshots seen by ST, she allegedly offered sexual services, with an intimate massage package listed for $120.
At 6.45pm, two other massage parlours in Orchard Towers were raided.
Two women were arrested. ST understands one is Singaporean and the other Cambodian. The women allegedly stood outside the outlets and solicited patrons for services ranging from $150 to $200.
One of the outlets had a storefront suggesting it was a beauty salon. Unlike massage establishments, beauty salons do not need a massage establishment licence from the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department.
Under the Women's Charter, anyone who knowingly solicits, receives or agrees to receive any gratification through prostitution can be jailed for up to seven years and fined up to $100,000.
Seventeen people aged between 62 and 81 are also being investigated for suspected involvement in illegal gambling activities.
Three people aged between 20 and 50 were arrested for suspected involvement in gang activities in an operation targeting public entertainment outlets in Orchard and Clarke Quay. Another man, 27, was arrested for suspected drug-related offences.
During this operation, seven men aged between 29 and 44 and a woman, 21, were found in possession of duty unpaid cigarettes.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Teo Yee Lay, deputy commander of Tanglin Police Division, said the joint operation is part of ongoing efforts to keep the streets and public entertainment scene safe.
She added: "We will continue to sustain the tempo of operations and work closely with other law enforcement agencies to take tough action against those involved in illicit activities."