Ten unlicensed massage establishments were detected during a series of enforcement operations conducted by the Police against massage establishments, vice and illegal gambling activities along Balestier Road, Upper Paya Lebar Road, Upper Thomson Road, Macpherson Road, Outram Road, Toa Payoh and Orchard areas from 8 to 14 April 2019.
Two licenced massage establishments were also found to have contravened licensing conditions, announced the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Tuesday (16 April).
During the seven-day operation, a total of 19 women and seven men, aged between 22 and 68, were arrested for various immigration-related and criminal offences including offences under the Common Gaming Houses Act and Remote Gambling Act.
The police advised landlords and hotel owners to ensure that tenants do not carry vice activities inside their premises.
Unlicensed brothel operators can be given a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or up to five years’ imprisonment. Any person who knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person can be jailed up to five years and fined up to $10,000. Prostitution is not illegal in Singapore.
It also stressed that actions will be taken against the operators for flouting the rules and regulations under the Massage Establishment Act (MEA).
Operators of unlicensed massage establishments are liable to enhanced penalties under the 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.
“Actions will also be taken against landlords who knowingly lease their premises to unlicensed massage establishment operators or allow their premises to be used by those involved in vice activities,” it noted.