162 nabbed in operation against online vice rings

In an operation spanning 23 days, 162 people - 157 women and five men aged between 19 and 48 - were arrested for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities.

The police said in a statement on Saturday that the operation ended on Tuesday. Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and six Police Land Divisions carried out coordinated raids on online vice syndicates at multiple locations across Singapore.

These included condominiums, hotels and residential units in Geylang, Jalan Sultan, Cavenagh Road and Balestier Road.

Laptops and mobile phones were seized during the operation, and investigations are ongoing.

The police added that the use of Housing Board flats for vice purposes is strictly prohibited and flat owners may face financial penalties or compulsory acquisition of their flat if they were found to be involved in the flat's misuse.

On owners who rent out their units, the police said: "Flat owners play an important role in preventing vice in heartlands, and are reminded to conduct regular checks on their tenants to prevent vice activities from proliferating in residential estates.

"Tenants who are found to be involved in the misuse of the flat will not be allowed to rent an HDB flat for five years."

Flat owners who knowingly rent their places for vice-related activities can be jailed for up to three years or face a fine of up to $3,000, or face both punishments.

Repeat offenders can be sentenced to jail for up to five years, fined up to $5,000 or both.