Singapore

Vice in Woodlands: From HDB brothel to illegal hotel?

Some HDB heartlanders are wondering what's taking place behind closed doors at this Woodlands flat.

The unit used to be a heartland brothel, with strangers turning up at all hours of the day and even late into the night. 

These unfamiliar faces were all men, who looked to be in their 30s to 50s.

But after the police conducted a series of islandwide raids last week, the stream of suspicious male visitors seemed to have stopped — for now.

Instead, strangers carrying luggage are turning up at the unit in Woodlands Drive 73 near Admiralty MRT, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Is the flat being used as an illegal hotel?

Thirty-six people were arrested in the islandwide raid of suspected brothels in the HDB heartland last week. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

The unit in question was originally rented out to a Filipino family before it was sublet to a mainland Chinese woman.

A female resident told the Chinese newspaper:

"Men would start appearing as early as 11am.

After one leaves, another will pop up two or three hours later. There would be over 10 visitors a day."

The suspicious characters would lurk along the corridor, she added, as if they were searching for the right unit.

A resident who wanted to be known as Madam K had told The New Paper that while there were always strange men on the corridor, her family could not tell if anything was going on in their neighbour's flat.

She said: "These things were done very hush-hush and we didn't hear any sounds."

Strangers loitering

Another neighbour, Madam Ain, 28, has lived there for 16 years.

She said:

"The neighbours recognise each other. That's why I got a bit suspicious when strangers started loitering on our corridor and at the void deck, especially on weekends."

The tax officer added: "I expect HDB estates to be safe. We can't stand for such things to be happening in our estate."

Residents told Shin Min they're seeing strangers with suitcases entering the unit recently. Insiders believe the flat is now operating as an illegal hotel.

Online websites are purportedly advertising room rates ranging from $$50 for five hours to $70 a night. Photos of the room were also posted online.

When Shin Min reporters called the phone number in question, a woman quoted a daily $100 rate for a room.

But no one answered subsequent calls or opened the unit door.

Sources: Shin Min Daily News, Lianhe Wanbao, The New Paper

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Related report: 36 nabbed in suspected brothels in HDB heartland

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