SINGAPORE - The police are investigating 45 people after conducting week-long raids on 42 massage parlours and nine unlicensed entertainment outlets.
In a raid on an unlicensed KTV-concept outlet in Chang Charn Road, four women between the ages of 30 and 35 were arrested for working without valid work permits.
Eleven persons on the premises are being investigated for alleged breaches of Covid-19 measures.
A 40-year-old man has also been arrested for offences under the Public Entertainments Act and Liquor Control Act and for his suspected involvement in the management of this outlet.
A total of 17 establishments are believed to have flouted rules under various Acts, such as the Massage Establishments Act and Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
These include three outlets operating without a valid licence, and one that allegedly failed to ensure all of its customers wore a mask during the massage.
Investigations against 29 individuals, comprising operators, masseuses and a customer, are ongoing.
According to Section 5(4) of the Massage Establishments Act, those found carrying on a business of providing massage services in an establishment for massage without a valid licence shall be fined $10,000, or face imprisonment of up two years, or both. For repeat offenders, this offence can carry a fine of up to 20,000, or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
For non-compliance with safe distancing measures under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, offenders can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $10,000, or both.
The offences of supplying liquor without a valid licence and providing public entertainment without a valid licence also carry a fine of up to $20,000 each.
The police warn that they are "consistently taking enforcement action at massage establishments and illegal KTVs to suppress vice and other illegal activities".
Their statement said: "The police have zero tolerance for irresponsible behaviour relating to the flouting of these measures and offenders will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law."