Filipino mum gave sex services to pay off $5,600 debt to millionaire pimp
A young Filipino mother needed money to support her daughter, so when she was offered work as a performing artist in a pub in Singapore, she jumped at the chance.
However, she did not know what she was getting into. And only when she arrived in Singapore was she told about the pub's "utang" (debt in Tagalog) system and that she had to provide sexual services to pay off the debt before she could earn any money.
Her "utang" was $5,600.
As a "performing artist" in Tokyo Drift pub in Orchard Plaza, her job was to chit-chat and drink with customers.
She could earn points, each worth $4, to offset her "utang" by providing sexual services in exchange for customers buying "ladies drinks" at inflated prices or going out on "bar fines" to have sex with customers.
Customers who want to take a woman out from the pub for sex had to pay a "bar fine" of at least $200.
The 28-year-old mother was one of 10 women involved in the charges proceeded against Singaporean Ang Boon Seng, who was convicted in August for vice activities.
Ang, 40, will be sentenced on Monday for abetting with others to procure women for the purpose of prostitution, abetting with others to harbour the women, living off their immoral earnings and managing brothels. (See report above.)
He had employed a total of 55 women who worked at his chain of nine pubs in Orchard Plaza and Cuppage Plaza since 2009.
Ang admitted to having made $1.08 million in profits from his pubs.
As the mother cannot be named due to a gag order, we shall call her Annie.
In February 2013, Annie's friend, Chloe Ann, who was working in Tokyo Drift, asked her if she would work there.
As Annie needed money for her daughter's expenses, she agreed to upload a photo of herself on Facebook for one of the pub managers and Ang's co-accused, Koh Eng Gee, 41, to view.
A few days later, Chloe Ann informed Annie that Koh had agreed to let her work in Tokyo Drift.
When she arrived at Changi Airport on June 18, she was picked up by another of Ang's co-accused, Michael Fong, and taken to her lodgings at Block 80, Chay Yan Street in Tiong Bahru.
She had to pay rent, calculated in points, to live there.
Koh took Annie to Tokyo Drift that night and briefed her on her "utang" of $5,600 and what she had to do to repay it.
Annie agreed to the terms and started working as a prostitute for Ang.
Between June 21 and August 7, she performed oral sex on eight occasions, each time charging a customer $300 in "ladies drinks", which cost between $22 and $55 each.
She also went out on two occasions with customers who paid the "bar fines" of between $660 and $1,000.
She earned a total of about $3,260 and all of it was received by Ang as part of the sales in his pub.
Two women in the Philippines faced a similar scenario when they came here to work in Ang's pubs.
One of them was working in a bar in the Philippines in January 2013 when her colleague told her about the job of a "performing artist" in Singapore.
She relayed the news to her friend and they met an agent, known as Noby, who told them they would be bound to an "utang".
The two women agreed and arrived at Changi Airport on Jan 19, 2013, where they met Ang.
He drove the two women to the Chay Yan Street flat where they stayed till August.
The "utang" owed by the women was measured in about 1,500 points.
One of the two women performed oral sex on 50 occasions to customers inside Tokyo Drift, earning $15,000 in the process.
Her friend performed oral sex on about seven occasions to customers inside Tokyo Drift and went out on "bar fines" on three occasions.
The customers were charged about $300 for every "bar fine" and $165 for oral sex.
She earned about $2,500 for Ang.
Court documents revealed that Ang and his co-accused took measures to hide the vice activities ongoing in their pubs.
For example, while performing the lewd acts, the women would switch on smoke machines in the pubs to conceal their activities.
Ang told one of his co-accused to install security cameras in and around the pubs which transmitted live feeds to his office.
He and his co-accused could then monitor what was happening in his pubs and alert his managers via walkie-talkies if they spotted police officers. The managers would then switch on the lights in the pubs to warn the women to stop performing sexual acts.
On Aug 13, 2013, the police, acting on information about vice activities in the nine pubs, conducted simultaneous raids on them.
A total of 68 people, including Ang, were arrested.
About the case
In four years, he made more than a million dollars from his nine pubs in two Orchard Road buildings.
About 40 per cent of that money was made illegally by providing sexual services in the pubs.
To provide these services, pub owner Ang Boon Seng and his 18 accomplices, including his wife, procured women from the Philippines.
Ang, 40, is awaiting sentencing for abetting with others to procure women for the purpose of prostitution, abetting with others to harbour the women, living off their immoral earnings and managing brothels.
He faced 232 charges in all, with 189 taken into consideration.
Seven of his nine pubs, including Tokyo Drift, Poker Face Entertainment, Masquerade Karaoke & Tea Lounge and Koto Japanese Lounge, were in Orchard Plaza.
The remaining two, Ginza Entertainment and Candles Pub, were in nearby Cuppage Plaza.
His wife, Singapore permanent resident Ylarde Anne Asuncion, 31, from the Philippines, is also awaiting sentencing for six charges of procuring women for the purpose of prostitution and one count of living off immoral earnings.
She helped her husband to bring in "performing artists" from the Philippines when she returned home.
There, she was occasionally approached by her friends who asked if she could help their friends find work in Singapore.
The couple pleaded guilty in August. For each charge, each of them faces up to five years' jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.