Singapore police crush vice syndicate with China's help
A transnational vice syndicate has been smashed in a joint operation by the Singapore Police Force and China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
The month-long operation, conducted from Oct 22 to Nov 23, saw a total of 178 women and 23 men arrested.
Preliminary investigations by the authorities revealed that the vice syndicate was based in China.
The syndicate operated a website advertising the sexual services of Chinese women in Singapore, and is believed to have helped arrange for their travel here.
Once in Singapore, the women would carry out vice activities, operating mainly from private apartments and HDB flats in the heartlands.
The law enforcement agencies coordinated simultaneous raids at 83 locations in Singapore and in various parts of China.
Five women and 11 men, aged between 21 and 48, were arrested in China.
The remaining 173 women and 12 men, aged between 19 and 53, were arrested in Singapore for offences under the Women's Charter.
Several laptops, mobile phones and about $70,000 in cash were seized as case exhibits in Singapore, while about 420,000 yuan (S$83,300) in cash was seized in China.
In a news release on the operation yesterday, the police said they will continue to clamp down and take tough enforcement action against such illicit activities.
Home owners who knowingly rent to any person for vice-related activities can be jailed up to three years, fined up to $3,000, or both.
If convicted a second time, they can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to five years, or both.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation & Intelligence) and Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Florence Chua said the successful joint operation was a result of the close collaboration between the Singapore police and the Chinese ministry. "I would like to thank the MPS for their strong and unequivocal support, which was instrumental in crippling this syndicate."