201 people, comprised of 23 men and 178 women, were arrested in a joint operation against a transnational vice syndicate conducted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) between 22 October and 23 November 2018.
The police stated in a Facebook post that officers from the SPF and MPS coordinated simultaneous raids at 83 locations in Singapore and in various parts of China during the joint operation.
It said that 173 women and 12 men, aged between 19 and 53, were arrested in Singapore for offences under the Women’s Charter, while five women and 11 men, aged between 21 and 48, were arrested in China. Cash amounting to almost S$70,000, laptops and mobile phones were seized as case exhibits in Singapore, while cash amounting to about RMB $420,000 were seized in China.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the vice syndicate in China was operating a vice website which advertised the sexual services of Chinese women in Singapore, the police said.
Source: SPF Facebook post.
The syndicate was believed to have arranged for these Chinese women to travel to Singapore to carry out vice activities, and they were operating mainly at private apartments and HDB flats in the heartlands.
The police stressed that it will continue to clamp down and take tough enforcement action against such illicit activities.
Under the Women’s Charter, any person who knowingly solicits, receives or agrees to receive any gratification as an inducement or reward for providing any service, and who by providing that service does or will aid the prostitution of another person (being a woman or girl), shall be guilty of an offence and punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, and to a fine not exceeding $10,000 upon conviction.
Any male person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offence shall, in addition to any term of imprisonment imposed in respect of such offence, be liable to caning. SPF will continue to work closely with our foreign law enforcement partners to tackle transnational crimes and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
The police reminds home owners to conduct regular checks on their tenants to prevent such activities from proliferating in residential estates and warned that house owners who knowingly rent their premises to any person for vice-related activities will be prosecuted and face imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding $3,000, or both. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, they will face a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation & Intelligence) and concurrent Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Florence Chua said, “This successful joint operation is a result of the close collaboration between the SPF and the MPS, People’s Republic of China. I would like to thank the MPS for their strong and unequivocal support, which was instrumental in crippling this syndicate.”