Pub was a front for vice ring; Two managers fined for abetting owner

An Orchard Road pub was a front for vice ring that even offered oral sex on its premises, a District Court heard on Tuesday. For abetting pub owner Ang Boon Kwee to live on the earnings of prostitutes, floor manager Ng Kian Boon, 26, and bar manager Ridzawi Ali, 31, were fined $20,000. They were also fined an additional $2,000 each for helping Ang operate a brothel.

The 42-year-old pub owner, and four other employees are also facing charges but have not dealt with yet. Their ruse was exposed after undercover police officers, acting on a tip-off, went to the now defunct Famous Hot Models pub on the third floor of Orchard Towers at 1am on May 25 last year, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lai.

They pretended to be customers and were joined by three Filipino hostesses, who told them that oral sex was available in the pub's three karaoke rooms at a cost of $182.00. If a customer wanted to have sex, he would have to pay the pub $268 for two hours of the woman's company.

Other police officers later moved in and arrested 26 Filipino women, aged 19 to 31, and also the six Singaporeans between the ages of 18 and 42, who were managing the pub.

Investigations revealed that Ang hired the women as hostesses although they were on social visit passes and not allowed to work.

As the floor manager, Ng would ensure security in the pub while Ridzawi's job was to open and close the pub each day. Both were aware of the sexual activities and kept an eye out for police officers.

Defence lawyer Subhas Anandan said that a light fine was appropriate punishment as his clients were mere employees.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said that the fine had to reflect that the vice operation was "not a small scale, one-off operation".