Tenant who sublet Woodlands condo and Yishun HDB flat to prostitutes jailed and fined

Dong Bin, a tenant who rented out his condominium apartment in Woodlands to three prostitutes in April and May, was jailed for three months and fined $12,000.
Dong Bin, a tenant who rented out his condominium apartment in Woodlands to three prostitutes in April and May, was jailed for three months and fined $12,000.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old tenant from China rented out his condominium apartment in Woodlands to three prostitutes in April and May, a district court heard.

But the sex workers, also from China, refused to open the door to policemen after the condo's estate manager reported her suspicion of vice activities, forcing officers to break into the unit.

The next month, the tenant and two of the prostitutes were again nabbed in an anti-vice raid at a Yishun flat. This time, the sex workers had also overstayed in Singapore.

On Wednesday (Aug 10), the tenant, Dong Bin, was jailed for three months and fined $12,000.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of living on the earnings of a prostitute, and one count of permitting a place to be used as a brothel. Two similar charges were considered in sentencing.

Dong earned $6,300 in total from his vice-related activities.

The court heard that Dong rented a Woodsvale Condominium unit in Woodlands Drive 72 in April, knowing that it was to be used as a brothel.

A compatriot, who was known to him as Zhang Ge, had asked him to rent a home anywhere in Singapore. Zhang Ge said he would recommend prostitutes from China to Dong, so he could sublet the rooms to the sex workers for vice activities.

For each unit that he rented, Zhang promised to deduct $2,000 from Dong's debts to him. Dong was also promised at least $40 a day, if he helped Zhang to collect the rental from each prostitute.

Dong leased the Woodlands condo with his details, and the particulars of a friend. He paid $2,400 in rental, and signed an agreement with the owner and property agent.

Zhang gave him $4,800; Dong handed over the agreement and house keys to him.

Zhang rented the rooms out to the three prostitutes, aged 21, 23 and 37, for $100 day.

But on May 26, suspecting vice activities due to the number of people entering and leaving the unit, the estate manager called the police.

Three prostitutes admitted to providing sexual services and were arrested on suspicion of having breached immigration laws. Officers seized more than 100 unopened condoms, and lubricants.

Dong was also called up for investigations and was later released.

But just four days later, he rented a unit at Block 665 Yishun Avenue 4 for $2,600 a month, again at Zhang's behest.

For permitting a place to be used as a brothel, Dong could have been fined $3,000 and jailed for three years. For living on the earnings of prostitution, he could have been jailed for five years and fined $10,000.

The identity of Zhang has not been established.