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Singapore

Man fined for providing karaoke services, alcohol without valid licence, breaching COVID-19 regulations

SINGAPORE: A 38-year-old man was fined S$7,000 on Tuesday (Sep 14) after pleading guilty to providing karaoke services and alcohol without a valid entertainment licence and breaching COVID-19 regulations.

In August 2020, Ong Han Wei engaged his friend Lee Jian Le to set up an outlet at Oxley Bizhub to provide karaoke and alcohol to patrons. Lee is a co-accused in the case and oversaw the daily operations of the outlet, court documents said.

“Both the accused and the co-accused were aware that public entertainment outlets were not permitted to operate during the material time,” the court documents read.

Despite that, Ong signed a tenancy agreement for an outlet on Aug 31, 2020. He tasked Lee to sort out the necessary renovations, source for an alcohol supplier and to manage the daily operations of the outlet. Ong and Lee had a profit-sharing arrangement for their business venture.

Operations at the outlet started on Sep 15, 2020, with about two to three bookings each night, according to court documents. On Sep 24, 2020, at about 10.40 pm, police officers conducted a raid on the outlet.

They found a pool table near the entrance to the outlet and heard music coming from three rooms inside the outlet. Lee was present at the scene and was identified to be overseeing the operations of the outlet.

Checks on the three rooms revealed that they had been converted into private KTV rooms, each with a karaoke system installed.

Five patrons were found to be singing and drinking alcohol in the three rooms. Lee was unable to provide a valid public entertainment licence for inspection upon request, the court heard.

Ong was identified through follow-up investigations and he admitted to being the occupier of the establishment, which he knew had been converted into a public entertainment outlet with KTV, pool table and alcohol provided.

Further police checks found that neither Ong nor Lee had a licence to provide public entertainment.

On Tuesday, Ong pleaded for leniency, and said that he committed the offences for profit and out of greed.

He said that at the time, his father was diagnosed with cancer and that he died a few months ago. Ong added that he will not commit the offence again. 

Lee will be dealt with separately, said court documents.

Source: CNA/ja

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