Cops nab alleged prostitutes in vice raid in massage parlours, residential buildings
They were blatantly advertising their sexual services on the Internet.
While they wanted to lure men in, they did not expect the men in blue to show up last Wednesday evening.
The New Paper on Sunday was allowed to accompany officers from the Central Police Division in the raids.
Six alleged prostitutes from China were arrested in a Little India condominium.
Operating from two units there, the six bedrooms that were raided were obviously used for illicit activities - condoms were laid out on the beds and one of the women had more than 100 beside her.
Tubes of lubricant were spotted in almost every bedroom and on top of the normal bedlinen, thick towels were also spread out on the beds.
One of the women, a 26-year-old, said that she had left her husband and child behind in China to work as a prostitute here. She said that she charged $100 per session.
"I come from a very poor family and my husband doesn't know I work as a prostitute here," she said.
While none of the six women were underage, the youngest person the police arrested in the week-long operation was a 15-year-old foreign girl for vice-related activities.
The operation was part of an ongoing enforcement effort to crack down on illegal activities.
Prior to this, there were at least 14 other reported cases of police raids since January.
For this latest operation, about 200 officers raided places such as public entertainment outlets, massage establishments and private apartments in places like Little India, Chinatown and the Central Business District.
The officers busted two online vice syndicates and four illegal gambling dens.
They also arrested 409 people in all - 331 women and 78 men who are between 15 and 82 years old. They were caught for offences including illegal employment, unlicensed moneylending and illegal punting.
The oldest person arrested was a Singaporean man, caught for gambling-related offences.
Besides locals and Chinese nationals, the suspects came from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
On Wednesday evening, the police apprehended eight women working from a Chinatown residential building. One woman was caught at the top storey, three were nabbed on the 19th and four were arrested on the eighth.
When TNPS arrived at the scene, all eight were sitting on a bed in a squalid apartment on the eighth storey.
The apartment, which is about the size of a five-room HDB flat, has six rooms for rent and a messy, dimly lit common space is used by the tenants as a laundry area.
These were not the only raids TNPS observed on Wednesday.
The officers also closed in on streetwalkers at Rowell Road in Little India and apprehended four transgender Malaysians on the second storey of a shophouse.
They had been operating from tiny, spartan cubicles with only flimsy curtains as partitions.
One of them, 32, confessed: "I come from Kuala Lumpur and I've worked in Singapore for three years.
"My family members back home don't know that I work in this line. They think I work in a shop."
Officers visited several beauty centres in the basement of a shopping centre near the Padang on Tuesday.
All seven beauty centres were manned by immaculately groomed foreign women dressed in revealing clothes. They were supposed to provide only facials to their customers.
But judging from what was found in the treatment rooms, it was apparent that the women stroked more than just their clients' faces.
Massage beds were found inside all the outlets and spring mattresses were spotted in at least two.
A total of 12 women - a Cambodian, two Vietnamese and nine Chinese nationals were found working in these beauty centres and they will be assisting the police with their investigation.
One of them was placed in handcuffs for disorderly behaviour and for being uncooperative to the officers.
An employee from a beauty centre in the same building said that she had been suspicious there had been some illicit activities going on there.
Declining to be identified, the local woman said: "My centre offers facials only. But some men have come inside asking us for special services. We will tell them that we don't offer those kind of services.
"But these women in other shops don't affect our business because we have our own regular clients - mainly ladies."