The Police have arrested four women, aged between 34 and 57 during an enforcement operation conducted against massage establishments (MEs) on 3 May 2018. Three of the women were arrested for offences under the Women's Charter while one was arrested for managing a place of assignation.
During the operation, Central Police Division conducted checks on four MEs located along Circular Road, Gemmill Lane, Duxton Road and Kitchener Road. Two MEs were found to be operating without a valid license while one ME was found to have contravened licensing conditions. Actions will also be taken against the operators under the Massage Establishment Act (MEA). Police investigations are ongoing.
The Police will continue to take tough enforcement action against unlicensed and errant MEs. Operators of unlicensed MEs are liable to enhanced penalties under the new MEA. If convicted, first time offenders may face a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to 2 years, or both. For repeat offenders, they will be liable to a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.
The Police may also issue the premises closure order to require an unlicensed ME to be vacated and physically secured, if the operator continues to operate the unlicensed ME, 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 ME operators from blatantly breaching the law while court proceedings against them are ongoing.
The Police will also take action against landlords who knowingly lease their premises to unlicensed ME operators. The Police will notify the landlord when their tenant has been charged in court for operating an unlicensed ME. 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 2 years, or both. For repeat offenders, they will be liable to a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.
Source: Singapore Police Force