SINGAPORE - Four women aged between 34 and 57 were arrested during a police raid on massage parlours on Thursday (May 3), the police said in a statement on Saturday.
Three of the women were arrested for offences under the Women's Charter while the fourth was arrested for managing a place of assignation, which means any place where communication is carried out with females for immoral purposes.
During the operation, officers from the Central Police Division conducted checks on four massage establishments in Circular Road, Gemmill Lane, Duxton Road and Kitchener Road.
Two of them were found to be operating without a valid licence, while another was found to have contravened licensing conditions.
Actions will be taken against the operators under the Massage Establishment Act.
Operators of unlicensed massage establishments face jail terms of up to two years and/or fines of up to $10,000 for the first offence.
Repeat offenders face up to five years' jail and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
If an operator continues to operate the unlicensed massage establishment even after he has been charged in court, the police can issue a closure order to require the establishment to be vacated and physically secured.
If this order is not complied with, the police can use reasonable force to enforce the closure of the premises.
Anyone who breaches the order may face jail terms of up to three years and/or a maximum fine of $15,000.
These orders prevent recalcitrant unlicensed massage establishment operators from breaching the law while court proceedings against them are ongoing.
Landlords who knowingly lease their premises to unlicensed massage establishment operators can also have action taken against them.
After a tenant operating an unlicensed massage establishment has been charged in court, the police will inform the landlord.
After the tenant is convicted, the landlord must require the tenant to hand over possession of the premises within a month.
Landlords who fail to do so face up to two years' jail and/or fines of up to $10,000.
Repeat offenders face twice the fine and/or up to five years' jail.
Police investigations are ongoing.