SINGAPORE - A beauty salon owner breached circuit breaker measures to provide massage and sexual services amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
Jin Yin, 55, was fined $22,000 on Wednesday (June 10) after pleading guilty to an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
The Singaporean also admitted to providing massage services without a licence. She managed to pay the fine in full.
Jin was the first person to be prosecuted in court for operating a non-essential business during the circuit breaker.
The recalcitrant offender had been convicted before on two separate occasions for providing massage services without a licence. She was fined $1,800 in 2014 and $1,000 in 2016.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said that Jin has owned In-Style Beauty Salon at Block 34 Upper Cross Street since November 2013 and was not issued with a licence to provide massage services.
Circuit breaker measures were implemented on April 7 this year to curb the spread of Covid-19 and Jin was aware of them.
Mr Chan Fun Hwee, 67, came across an advertisement on classifieds website Locanto.sg about Jin's services and contacted her on April 10 to book a two-hour package worth $150.
Fearing police checks, he asked her if it was safe for him to go to the salon.
She sent him a text message in response, assuring him that she was "working close door".
Mr Chan arrived at around 1pm. A concerned resident who lived in the neighbourhood alerted the police after spotting him entering the salon's premises.
The court heard that Jin massaged Mr Chan and sexually stimulated him on a massage bed, which was covered by curtains, at the back of the shop.
When police officers arrived at the salon later, the door was closed with a sign on it stating that the place was not open for business.
But they could feel cool air from an air-conditioner wafting out and they knocked on the door.
Jin opened it about 10 minutes later and officers saw Mr Chan inside the salon. Court documents did not state if he will be dealt with in court.
On Wednesday, Jin, who was unrepresented, wept before Senior District Judge Bala Reddy as she pleaded for leniency and added that she has a daughter in China.
The judge said: "No need to impress me by crying here."
Through a Mandarin interpreter, Jin said: "(I would) not have gone into this trade had I not been in heavy debt."
She also said that she had earlier applied for a licence for her salon to lawfully offer massage services, but the application got rejected.
Jin was the only woman among five Singaporeans who were sentenced in court on Wednesday after committing offences linked to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The four men are: Eddie Neo Zhong Jie, 35; Yee Choon Wah, 52; Ong King Hwa, 63; and Lee Ah Loo, 66.
USED GOLF CLUB TO SMASH NEIGHBOUR'S WINDOW
Yee was sentenced to four weeks' jail after he pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Ms Wong Yoke Kwan, 49, by performing a rash act.
Three other charges, including two under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, were considered during sentencing.
The unemployed man was in his Balam Road flat near Paya Lebar Road at around 6.30pm on April 18 when he thought he smelt cigarette smoke coming from neighbouring units.
Feeling angry, he took a golf club from his living room and went to the common corridor, where he used the club to smash a window belonging to Ms Wong's flat, causing about $400 in damage.
The glass shattered and a shard struck her right forearm, causing redness. Yee has not made restitution.
VERBALLY ABUSED PUBLIC SERVANT
Neo, who owns a drink stall at a coffee shop at Block 253 Jurong East Street 24, Yuhua Village, pleaded guilty to a harassment charge and was fined $3,000 on Wednesday.
Two enforcement officers from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) - a 33-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man - went to the eatery at around noon on April 13, after receiving information about illegal hawking activities there.
They spotted Neo, who had a trolley with 43 boxes of surgical masks next to him. When approached by the officers, he denied selling the items and claimed he was merely "loading and unloading" the boxes.
He refused to cooperate after they asked for his particulars and abused the male SFA officer with vulgar language.
HURLED VULGARITIES AT NEA OFFICER
Lee had verbally abused a safe distancing ambassador on April 26. Court documents did not reveal details about this encounter.
On May 2, Lee approached the same man at Beo Crescent Market, near Havelock Road, and asked for his particulars.
A nearby enforcement officer from the National Environment Agency (NEA) advised the safe distancing ambassador to call for police assistance, seeing that Lee was agitated.
Unhappy, Lee tossed his NRIC onto a table and abused the NEA officer with vulgar language. He was fined $3,000 on Wednesday after pleading guilty to a harassment charge.
LEFT HOME TO MEET FRIENDS
Ong was fined $3,500 after pleading guilty to two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
He left his Whampoa Drive flat on May 3 and walked to a nearby stone bench to unlawfully meet a friend.
A policeman later spotted the pair and issued Ong a $1,000 notice of composition for this offence. The court heard that he failed to pay the amount within a deadline, which was not stated in court documents.
Ong reoffended when he left his home to meet two other friends at the stone bench five days later. A team of police officers approached the trio after noticing that they were not wearing masks over their mouths and noses.
On compassionate grounds, the officers told the men to go home immediately. The officers returned about five minutes later and saw Ong's two friends packing up to leave.
Ong, who refused to move, took out his identity card and challenged the officers to "summon him".
It was not stated if all three friends will be dealt with in court.
A first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000 for each charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.