45 people under investigation after raids on massage parlours, unlicensed entertainment outlets
SINGAPORE: The authorities are investigating 45 people following islandwide enforcement operations on 42 massage parlours and nine public entertainment outlets between Aug 9 and 15, the police said in a news release on Friday (Aug 20)
This includes an unlicensed KTV-concept outlet along Chang Charn Road, where four women aged between 30 and 33 were arrested for allegedly working without a valid work permit.
Another 11 people in the premises are being investigated for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
A 40-year-old man was also arrested for offences under the Public Entertainments Act and Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act, for his suspected involvement in managing the unlicensed public entertainment outlet.
In addition, a total of 17 massage establishments were believed to have committed various breaches under the Massage Establishments Act and COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
Three of the outlets were operating without a valid licence, and a 10-day closure order will be issued to one outlet for allegedly failing to ensure all its customers wore masks during their massage sessions.
Investigations against 29 individuals, comprising operators, masseuses and a customer, are ongoing.
Under Section 5(4) of the Massage Establishments Act, those found carrying on a business of providing massage services without a valid licence can be fined $10,000, or jailed up two years, or both.
For non-compliance with safe distancing measures under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, offenders may be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
The offences of supplying liquor without a valid licence and providing public entertainment without a valid licence, carry a fine of up to $20,000 each.
Police said they have been consistently taking enforcement action at massage establishments and illegal KTVs to suppress vice and illegal activities.
It added: “Members of the public and businesses are advised to take safe management measures seriously.
“The police have zero tolerance for irresponsible behaviour relating to the flouting of these measures and offenders will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law.”