162 nabbed in operation against online vice rings

In raids on online vice syndicates at multiple locations over 23 days, officers arrested 157 women and five men for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities.
In raids on online vice syndicates at multiple locations over 23 days, officers arrested 157 women and five men for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

In an operation that spanned 23 days and ended on Aug 7, 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 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 as well as Balestier Road.

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

The police said in their statement 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 flat owners who rent out their units, the police said: "Flat owners play an important role in preventing vice in heartland, 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 out 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2018, with the headline '162 nabbed in operation against online vice rings'. Print Edition | Subscribe