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Jail for husband and wife who ran hotel spa offering sex services, half-naked masseuses

Jail for husband and wife who ran hotel spa offering sex services, half-naked masseuses

A person receiving a massage. (Photo: Unsplash/Toa Heftiba)

SINGAPORE: A married couple ran a spa in a hotel in Little India that offered massages by half-naked masseuses as well as sexual services.

For running a business providing massage services in an establishment without a licence, 56-year-old Choo Kon Ying was sentenced to two weeks' jail on Tuesday (Nov 26).

Her 62-year-old husband Ong Han Seng received 10 weeks' jail for a similar charge.

Ong was given a harsher punishment because he is a repeat offender with a 2016 conviction under the Massage Establishments Act.

The court heard that Ong owned Monte Spa, which was located on the sixth floor of Parkroyal Hotel in 181 Kitchener Road.

He ran the outfit with his wife, who helped with cashiering, overseeing accounts and logistics, and hiring.

On May 3 last year, a compliance management officer attached to the police's central division visited the spa with his colleagues to conduct a check.

When they arrived at about 5pm, they found a masseuse with a customer in a partitioned room.

The customer had visited the spa several times before. On this occasion, he was greeted by Choo at the counter, who showed him pictures of three women for his pick.

He paid S$50 for a 40-minute body massage and went to a room. There, the masseuse took off her pants, climbed on top of him in her underwear, and massaged him.

The masseuse had previously provided the customer with masturbation services and topless massages for between S$80 and S$100.

The police in their subsequent investigations found and seized condoms from a container in a staff room at the spa.

At the time, neither Ong nor his wife had a valid massage establishment licence.

It was also not Ong's first brush with the law. In 2016, he ran another massage establishment called Monte Aesthetic at Cuppage Plaza, where a masseuse offered oral sex to customers.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said enhanced penalties in the relevant act were targeted at unlicensed massage establishments, particularly those that engaged in vice activities.

He noted that there had been a marked increase in the number of unlicensed massage establishments, with a 40 per cent increase between 2013 and 2016.

He added that many of these outfits were fronts for vice activities.

He noted their pleas of guilt, but said that the mitigating weight was reduced as there was clear evidence against them.

The defence lawyer asked for bail pending appeal, noting that the couple, who live in Malaysia, have been coming to Singapore for court hearings as required.

They were granted S$15,000 bail each.

In response to CNA’s queries, a spokesperson for Parkroyal Hotels said it terminated its contract with the Monte Spa operator with immediate effect after being alerted by the police on May 3 last year.

“Monte Spa had since ceased operations on May 7, 2018. The hotel has been in close communication with the police and cooperated fully with them throughout the investigation,” she said.

There are no replacement spa facilities at the Kitchener Road branch and the previous spa premises will be renovated as part of the hotel’s upgrading works.

The penalties for operating an unlicensed massage establishment are a maximum jail term of two years, a maximum fine of S$10,000, or both for a first offender.

Repeat offenders face up to five years' jail, a maximum S$20,000 fine, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(aj)

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