48 nightlife and public entertainment outlets caught breaching rules; 103 people arrested

Enforcement checks took place at 1,543 outlets, including one in Jalan Besar (left) and one in Concorde Shopping Centre. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Forty-eight public entertainment and nightlife outlets, some of which were unlicensed, were caught for breaching various rules during multi-agency islandwide enforcement checks between April 19 and June 14 this year.

The police, in a statement on Monday (June 27), said seven of the outlets had flouted Covid-19 regulations.

The breaches included failing to minimise physical interactions between customers and non-customers, failing to implement a system of checks for vaccination-differentiated safe management measures, and not ensuring patrons wore masks while indoors.

The other outlets breached regulations such as the Public Entertainments Act 1958 and the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act 2015.

The checks, which took place at 1,543 outlets across the island, were carried out by the police, the Singapore Tourism Board, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Food Agency, Singapore Land Authority, Sentosa Development Corporation and JTC Corporation, as part of efforts to ensure a safe resumption of nightlife business here.

Four closure orders and six composition fines of $1,000 each were issued to operators for breaching safe management measures, while unmasked patrons were given composition fines ranging from $300 to $1,000.

A total of 71 men and 32 women, aged between 16 and 52, were arrested for various offences such as being members of unlawful societies, possession of offensive weapons in a public place, causing annoyance while drunk and working without a valid work permit.

Twenty-seven of the women were arrested for allegedly working at nightlife establishments as freelance hostesses by providing companionship and drinking with patrons without a valid work permit.

The women, who were of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese nationalities, were aged between 24 and 53.

The police added that on May 14 this year, an outlet within a shophouse in Jalan Besar was found to have been furnished with five private rooms equipped with karaoke systems, speakers, microphones and televisions.

Patrons were allegedly permitted to sing karaoke in these rooms even though the operator did not possess a valid public entertainment licence, said the police, adding that the operator is under probe.

An outlet within a shophouse in Jalan Besar was found to have been furnished with five private rooms equipped with karaoke systems, speakers, microphones and televisions. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

In another set of checks on April 20, seven men patronising an outlet in a shopping centre in Outram Road were found to be members of unlawful societies.

The men, aged between 22 and 28, were arrested.

A check on the same outlet four days later revealed that it allowed a group of 11 unmasked patrons to gather within its premises.

As the operator had failed to ensure that the group size of unmasked patrons did not exceed the group size limit of 10 at the time, he was issued with a 10-day closure order from May 1 to 10, and was also given a $1,000 composition fine.

Those found guilty of providing public entertainment without a valid licence may be fined up to $20,000.

Those who do not comply with safe distancing measures may be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $10,000, or both.

In the statement, the police said they will continue to carry out enforcement operations at public entertainment outlets to suppress illicit activities together with other agencies.

The police said: "Notwithstanding the easing of Covid-19 measures, members of the public and businesses are advised to remain vigilant and continue to take the prevailing safe management measures seriously."

They added that irresponsible behaviour that flouts such measures will not be tolerated, and offenders will be dealt with firmly.

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