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Singapore

81-year-old man to be charged for operating unlicensed massage establishments

81-year-old man to be charged for operating unlicensed massage establishments

Photo illustration of a gavel. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: An 81-year-old man will be charged on suspicion of running two unlicensed massage establishments in Hougang and Aljunied, the police said in a news release on Tuesday (Jan 19). 

The police were alerted to the case at a Housing Board block along Hougang Street 21 on Apr 17 last year, which was during Singapore's COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period. 

Investigations showed that the man allegedly operated the Hougang unit for the purpose of providing massage services without a valid licence.

He purportedly failed to ensure that his employee did not provide sexual services, added the police.

The man is also suspected of operating another unlicensed massage establishment along Aljunied Avenue 2.

He will be charged on Wednesday.

Offenders could be jailed for up to two years, fined a maximum of S$10,000 or both. Repeat offenders face double the fine, a jail term of five years or both. 

If found guilty of failing to ensure that his employee did not provide sexual services, the man could be fined up to S$5,000 on the first conviction. 

For violating circuit breaker measures, he could be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000 or both if found guilty. The penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.

The police said they will also take action against landlords who "knowingly lease" their premises to unlicensed massage establishment operators.

Police will notify the landlord when their tenant has been charged in court for operating an unlicensed massage establishment.

After the conviction of the tenant, the landlord must require the tenant to hand over possession of the premises within a month, said the police.

Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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