Woman tenant arrested for vice-related offences in Little India condo
Resident notices men loitering outside her condo after new neighbour moves in and goes into action
She knew every resident in the 30-unit condominium, and that was why the new tenant stuck out like a sore thumb.
Almost daily, the young woman would meet men outside the condo block and take them to her apartment for an hour or so.
This happened for a month and the observant resident had a feeling something illegal was taking place.
Not wanting the building she calls home to be turned into a vice den, she called the police, who arrested the woman after a stakeout.
Mary (not her real name), 50, has been living in the Little India condo for two years. She is also its management council chairman.
She noticed the new tenant, a Chinese national in her early 20s, who moved in last month.
The newcomer is believed to be on a student visa and studies at a private project management and engineering school.
Mary, who is single, observed that soon after the new tenant moved in, men were seen loitering outside the condo block.
The first man Mary noticed had said he was visiting a friend. He was later let in by the Chinese national.
Mary let it pass.
But alarm bells went off the next day.
While viewing closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, Mary spotted the same woman taking different men up to her unit late at night.
Soon, a pattern emerged.
More men would linger outside the condo, make a call, and the woman would take them into her apartment. About an hour later, the men would leave.
Sometimes, she would accompany one man down and return to her apartment with another.
Said Mary: "They were usually executives, who were well-dressed and looked well educated."
There were the occasional 50-year-olds and some in their 20s as well, she added.
On some days, the woman would take as many as six men home and her 'visits' started as early as 10.30am.
This went on for three weeks every other day.
Mary went through the CCTV footage daily and carefully noted down the time stamps of strangers who entered the condo in her notebook. She filled up five pages of an A4 book.
Convinced that the woman was a prostitute, Mary lodged a police report, together with the condo's managing agent Eddy Khoo, on Oct 19.
Mary said: "I didn't want the condo to turn into a brothel."
Mr Khoo, who is from Creation Management, was hired to manage the condo's day-to-day administration.
On Wednesday (Nov 4) - incidentally her birthday - Mary's efforts finally paid off when the Chinese national was arrested in a police raid.
Mary said she had wanted to go out for lunch when the police called her at 11am.
They asked if there were any customers that day so far and to alert them immediately when she spotted one.
Mary decided to monitor the CCTV footage closely after the call.
As she exited the room, where she monitored the CCTV footage, at 5.30pm that day, she saw a stranger in a long-sleeved purple shirt and dress pants standing in front of the condo's intercom.
Mary said: "He said he was not sure when I asked him where he was going, and who he was looking for.
"When I saw the lift go up to the second storey, I knew."
She quickly called the police, who appeared at the condo within five minutes.
The New Paper was observing the woman's unit from a park opposite the condo.
With curtains slightly drawn and the balcony door left ajar, it was quiet initially.
Then the lights in the living room suddenly came on, and a flurry of activity ensued, with policemen and a woman dressed in grey seen shuffling about.
Shortly after, the man dressed in purple, whom Mary had earlier spotted, was escorted out of the condo by a plainclothes police officer.
When TNP approached him, the man quickened his steps and said, "No comments," before hurrying away.
Half an hour later, the Chinese national was led out of the condo, handcuffed, by four policemen.
She was in a red jumper, jeans and mismatched white shoes, and looked shaken.
Said Mary: "Finally, I can get a good night's sleep."
She had been fretting over the alleged vice activities.
She said: "I wanted to make sure the vice activities are stopped and the area is safe. I am happy to do it."
A police spokesman confirmed that a woman in her 20s was arrested and TNP understands the offence is vice-related.
Apart from the detective work she did to end the vice activities in the condo, Mary has also gone around pasting signs and catching people who pee at the stairwell, and those who park illegally at the road beside the condo.
"A resident told me, 'We don't need security, we have (Mary)'," she said, beaming.
TNP understands the woman is out on bail, and her case has been referred to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.
I didn't want the condo to turn into a brothel.
- Mary (not her real name)
Previous heartland brothels
Four Chinese nationals involved in vice activities in HDB estates were each jailed for 10 weeks to 12 months on Dec 12 last year.
Former bus captain Chen Ping Gen, 33, had plotted with others to live off the earnings of prostitutes and manage an HDB flat in Woodlands as a brothel. He was jailed a year.
His girlfriend, Liang Yadi, 24, was jailed 10 weeks for helping him live off the earnings of prostitutes.
Two men, Wan Jin, 24, and Jiang Ying, 29, were jailed six months and seven months, respectively.
A man and three women were arrested for allegedly carrying out prostitution activities in a Jurong West HDB flat.
Neighbours had raised concerns about a brothel operating near their homes.
Four women, aged between 17 and 26, were arrested by police for providing sexual services at an HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6.
A man, 40, was arrested for having paid sex with a minor.
The New Paper uncovered a sex ring where Indonesian men offered massages that included sexual services in flats in Ang Mo Kio and Yishun.
The young men advertised their services on an online gay dating portal.
Sixty women were arrested for offences such as vice activities at 32 unlicensed massage parlours in Bedok, Tampines and Marine Parade.