Husband and wife each jailed 12 months for housing Vietnamese prostitutes

Sim Boon Keong, 35, and Huynh Dieu Tu, 37, pleaded guilty to receiving the hookers into Singapore, harbouring them and living off their earnings.
Sim Boon Keong, 35, and Huynh Dieu Tu, 37, pleaded guilty to receiving the hookers into Singapore, harbouring them and living off their earnings.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A jobless couple who let six prostitutes from Vietnam stay at their home then lived off their earnings were each jailed for a year on Friday.

Sim Boon Keong, 35, and Huynh Dieu Tu, 33, both each pleaded guilty to receiving the hookers into Singapore, harbouring them and living off their earnings.

The court heard that all six women - aged 19 to 27 - were told by friends back home that Huynh could act as their agent here.

Huynh told them via mobile phone application WeChat last year that she would meet them at the airport, take them to their lodging and arrange for their daily meals.

In return, the women would pay Huynh a fee ranging from $1,100 to $1,900, which would cover their return air tickets and a loan of $1,000.

She would also provide them lodging and meals at a rate of $20 per day.

The women worked at pubs located near Jalan Sultan as freelance hostesses. They would also solicit customers for sexual services at a rate between $200 and $600.

Police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department's Specialised Crime Branch raided Sim and Huynh's home at Block 41 Sims Drive last May, acting on a tip-off.

All six Vietnamese prostitutes were also arrested for offences under the Women's Charter.

In passing sentence, District Judge Mathew Joseph said their offences were "quite disturbing". He added: "It is in the public interest that the sentence imposed by the court be a deterrence to others who are like-minded, from what might seem like a lucrative business for prostitution activities in Singapore."

amirh@sph.com.sg