15 held in crackdown on online vice ring

Fifteen people were arrested when police crippled an online vice syndicate in a two-day operation.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the police said the suspects had operated a vice website with foreign female escorts advertising sexual services online, according to preliminary investigations.

During the operation on March 22 and 23, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department mounted simultaneous raids at locations such as Beach Road, Jellicoe Road, Mayo Street, Tan Quee Lan Street and Raffles Boulevard.

They arrested 13 women and two men, aged between 20 and 25, who were suspects in the vice syndicate.

Case exhibits such as mobile phones and a closed-circuit television camera were also seized for investigations.

"Police will spare no effort to clamp down and take tough enforcement action on vice activities, including those who operate on the Internet," the statement said.

The police said that the two men have been charged in court, while investigations against the women are ongoing.

Under the Women's Charter, those who knowingly live on the earnings of the prostitution of another person may face a jail term of up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline '15 held in crackdown on online vice ring'. Print Edition | Subscribe