Residents worried about Woodlands jungle brothel
Woodlands residents worried about makeshift brothel in nearby jungle
Call it a "rubber plantation", if you will.
In one corner of a small jungle in Woodlands, there are used condoms and condom wrappers strewn all over the ground.
The hundreds of condoms are a by-product of a jungle brothel that has been in and out of business for the past 14 years.
The New Paper first reported on the jungle brothel in May 2004.
Lianhe Wanbao recently revisited the site, which is situated between Woodlands Avenue 4 and 9, and found that the site's clandestine activities were back and thriving.
As night fell, men could be seen walking into the jungle. Some went in alone, while others arrived in groups.
In the space of half an hour, 30 men were seen walking into the area, during the stakeout by the Chinese evening daily.
They are believed to be living in nearby dormitories.
An anonymous source said that the women are mostly foreign workers. They arrived in groups in taxis and walked directly into the jungle, while their customers appeared soon after.
The route to the brothel is a trail that runs innocuously off a pavement. It is lined with fallen tree trunks, but 50m in, there is an empty space about the size of three basketball courts.
The space is secluded and surrounded by trees. Wooden poles erected on the ground hold up canvas sheets, forming a makeshift room.
A torn mattress wrapped in canvas sheets sits in the middle.
Each session on the mattress is said to last between 10 and 20 minutes.
Wanbao reported that the brothel is open every day and enjoys good business.
The operators appeared well-organised - there were men acting as lookouts and "ushers" using torches to guide customers into the area.
Yesterday, The New Paper spoke to residents in the vicinity. Some said they were worried while others admitted they have become used to it.
A resident, who wanted to be known only as Madam Lina, 53, said: "When I am waiting for a taxi with my children, I see men and women walking in and out of the place."
Madam Lina, who lives at Block 878, Woodlands Avenue 9, added that she was worried about the safety of her son, 24, and two daughters, aged 19 and 27.
"Sometimes, my husband and I would put a table and chair outside our flat to sit and wait for our children to come home," said Madam Lina, who is a vice-president of a childcare centre.
Another resident said that the women working at the brothel even attempted to solicit business from her husband, so he changed his route home to avoid them.
The 64-year-old housewife, who declined to be named, has been living in the vicinity for 16 years.
She said: "I've lived in this area for so long that I'm not scared of this. There is nothing to be afraid of."
Since 2002, over 100 people were reported to have been arrested there.
TNP has reported at least six incidents of vice in the area between 2003 and 2012.
In 2003, TNP reported that the place was home to 66 suspected illegal immigrants, 39 of whom were women.
The place was found to have a common toilet and makeshift huts.
In 2004, 34 foreign nationals were arrested there for vice activities.