The Police have arrested eight women, aged between 22 and 35, during an enforcement operation against unlicensed massage establishments along South Bridge Road on 16 July 2018.
During the operation conducted by Central Police Division, an outlet was detected to be operating as an unlicensed massage establishment and the employees were allegedly found to be offering sexual services. Eight women were arrested for offences under the Women's Charter. Three of them were also arrested for working without work permit under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
The Police will continue to take strong enforcement actions against unlicensed massage establishments, as well as errant licensed massage establishments.
The operators of the unlicensed massage establishments will be investigated and are liable for the enhanced penalties under the new MEA. If convicted, first time offenders will be sentenced to a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to two years, or both. The maximum penalties for subsequent convictions will be doubled or more � a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
The Police may also issue a premises closure order to require an unlicensed massage establishment to be vacated and physically secured, if the operator continues to operate the unlicensed massage establishment, even after he has been charged in court. If the order is not complied with, the Police are empowered to take necessary steps, and use reasonable force, to enforce the closure of the premises.
Anyone who breaches the order may face a maximum fine of $15,000, or imprisonment of up to 3 years, or both. These orders will prevent recalcitrant unlicensed massage establishment operators from blatantly breaching the law whilst court proceedings against them are still ongoing.
The Police will also take action against landlords who knowingly lease their premises to unlicensed massage establishment operators. The 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.
Landlords, who fail to do so, will be liable, if convicted, to a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to two years, or both. The maximum penalties for subsequent convictions will be doubled or more � a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
Source: Singapore Police Force