Singapore police arrested 17 women and 2 men, aged between 17 and 41 on Wednesday, March 6 during an enforcement operation and seized drugs.
In a news release, Singapore Police Force (SPF) stated that they conducted the raid to track down vice activities and illegal massage operations along Balestier Road, Macpherson Road, Upper Paya Lebar Road, Lorong 2 Toa Payoh, Orchard Road and Havelock Road.
During the operation, which was also supported by Tanglin Police Division and Central Police Division, officers first arrested 14 women and one man, aged between 25 and 41, for vice related offences.
After an initial investigation, police came to know these 15 offenders had advertised sexual services online and operated from a rented service apartment. However, another woman was also taken under custody for alleged drug-related offences.
During another raid on a rented service apartment, police nabbed a 17-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man for their suspected involvement in drug-related offences. As per SPF, the male alleged offender was also arrested for fraudulent possession of the property.
Police arrested two women, aged between 30 and 32, for committing alleged offences under the Women's Charter Act.
The investigation also revealed that three massage parlours were operating without a valid licence, while one of the establishments was found to have contravened licensing conditions.
After conducting the raid, police advised landlords to ensure that their tenants do not carry out vice activities inside their premises.
"Unlicensed brothel operators can be given a maximum fine of S$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 S$10000," SPF said.
As per the law, the operators of unlicensed massage parlours will face enhanced penalties under the new Massage Establishment Act and if they are found guilty, then the sentence will include a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to two years, or both.
In the case of second-time offenders, they will be liable to a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
SPF also said that the authority "will spare no effort to clamp and take tough enforcement action on vice activities. Those found engaging in such activities will be dealt with in accordance with the law."