Police Raids Uncover Massage Parlours & Nightlife Outlets Breaching Covid-19 Measures
Singapore is at a critical period in our fight against Covid-19 and authorities have been hard at work to ensure safety measures are adhered to.
Police raids took place at 283 massage parlours and public entertainment and nightlife outlets over the past month and a half.
On Saturday (2 Oct), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said 99 people are now under investigation and 29 have been arrested.
Massage parlours breaching Covid-19 measures & breaking laws
During enforcement operations between 19 Aug and 24 Sep, police raided 192 massage parlours.
32 parlours were found to have breached rules governing massage establishments and Covid-19 measures, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Of these, 25 were reportedly operating without a valid licence. At 12 parlours, masseuses were suspected of offering or providing sexual services.
23 women aged between 22 and 47 were arrested. Preliminary investigations found they had allegedly provided sexual services at massage establishments.
At 2 establishments, masseuses and customers were also allegedly found not wearing masks.
These establishments will be issued a 10-day closure order and fined $1,000 for failing to ensure all staff and customers wear a mask within the premises. Customers involved can also be fined $300.
61 operators, masseuses, and customers are under investigation.
Illegal activities found at 10 nightlife outlets
Police raids were carried out at 91 public entertainment and nightlife outlets.
According to The Straits Times (ST), 10 of them were found to have broken the law.
In a joint operation with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on 24 Sep at an F&B outlet along Media Circle, the police arrested 6 South Korean women aged between 23 and 31 for working without a valid work permit.
The women were reportedly providing companionship to customers in return for the purchase of drinks at the outlet, earning them a commission.
4 of them and 10 others are also under investigation for allegedly breaching Covid-19 measures by exceeding the permitted social gathering size.
The F&B operator is under investigation for failing to abide by the following:
- Minimise staff interactions with customers
- Ensuring safe distancing of at least 1m between seated customers
- Implementing measures to enable contact tracing
38 operators, staff, and customers are under investigation.
Zero tolerance for breaching safety measures
The police assured that they will continue regular enforcement checks on massage establishments and public entertainment outlets to suppress vice and other illicit activities.
They advised the public to take prevailing safe management measures seriously, reported CNA.
SPF reiterated their they have zero tolerance for irresponsible behaviour. Offenders will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law.
Those guilty of running a massage establishment without a valid licence can be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to 2 years, or both.
For violating safe distancing measures, offenders can be jailed up to 6 months, fined $10,000, or both.
The offences of supplying liquor and providing public entertainment without a valid licence each carry a fine of up to $20,000.
Glad authorities are clamping down on illegal activities
With the emergence of the KTV cluster back in July, we have seen how nightlife places and illicit activities can fast become a breeding ground for large clusters.
It is concerning that such illegal activities continue to go on.
We’re glad authorities are taking action and are on the lookout to catch such irresponsible businesses and individuals.
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.