In spite of series of raids on public entertainment outlets and unlicensed massage establishments to curtail vice-related activities, Singapore police have again arrested six men and 13 women from various parts of the country in a week-long joint enforcement operation.
Eleven women, suspected to have advertised sexual services online, were arrested and after an initial investigation, it was revealed that they were operating within residential areas. Police declared on 22 January that S$1,240 in cash and 11 mobile phones were confiscated from the women.
Not only this, another six men and two women were arrested from an illegal massage establishment for suspected drug-related offences.
These arrests happened during a week-long (From January 8-14) joint enforcement operation in Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon, Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol. Officials raided 36 residential and commercial units and a total of 130 people were thoroughly checked, according to media. The operation, held by the Ang Mo Kio police division was also aided by the Central Narcotics Bureau and Singapore Civil Defence Force.
Police investigations against establishments thriving on sexual favours have been going on in the city-state for quite some time now. On January 10 police said in a press release that 17 women were arrested during raids along Jalan Besar Road, Rangoon Road, Sing Joo Walk, Race Course Lane, Beach Road, Stamford Road, Cross Street and Kampong Bahru Road. They were providing sexual services and working illegally as masseurs.
Also on January 7, the authorities said 26 women, aged between 24 and 40, are under investigation for providing sexual services in seven massage parlours in Jalan Besar, Lavender and Little India.
In November 2017, Parliament has imposed harsher penalties against unlicensed massage establishments and since then the authorities have been ramping up efforts to weed out the unlicensed massage parlors in the country.
Under the revised Massage Establishments Act, the penalty for unlicensed operators will be a maximum jail term of two years or a maximum fine of S$10,000 (up from S$1,000), or both. Previously, there was no jail term in the penalty.