Couple made $1 million in 4 years from 9 sleazy pubs

Singaporean pub owner Ang Boon Seng and his Filipino wife Ylarde Anne Asuncion earned about $1.08 million from their nine pubs within four years, between 2009 and 2013. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 
Singaporean pub owner Ang Boon Seng and his Filipino wife Ylarde Anne Asuncion earned about $1.08 million from their nine pubs within four years, between 2009 and 2013. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean pub owner and his Filipino wife earned about $1.08 million from their nine pubs within four years, between 2009 and 2013.

While this was in part because of pub owner Ang Boon Seng's efforts and experience in the industry, about 40 per cent of the earnings was made illegally by providing sexual services in his pubs, which were located in two Orchard Road buildings.

Customers could obtain oral sex among other services inside the pubs, as long as they bought a certain number of overpriced "ladies drinks" - each costing $22 to $55. Customers could also pay a "bar fine" of at least $200 to take a woman out for activities, which usually included sexual intercourse, The New Paper reported.

Ang, 40, and his wife Ylarde Anne Asuncion, a 31-year-old Singapore permanent resident, together with 17 other accomplices, procured women from the Philippines to provide these sexual services.

Asuncion would help her husband bring in the women when she returned home. When the women agreed to work as "performing artists" in the pubs, she would brief them about the job's requirements.

The women would be told that they were bound to a "debt" that needed to be fulfilled, before they could get paid. To pay off these so-called debts, the women had to provide sexual services. If they were interested, Asuncion would then arrange for them to fly to Singapore.

Some 55 women in total were employed by Ang to work in his pubs, and Ang said his profits could reach $60,000 on good months, according to The New Paper.

Managers were hired to help him run the pubs, and Ang installed closed-circuit television cameras in and around the pubs which transmitted live feeds to his office. This not only allowed him to monitor what was happening, but also enabled him to inform his managers if he spotted police officers. The managers would then tell the women to stop performing sexual acts.

Ang opened his first pub, Tokyo Drift, in Orchard Plaza in June 2009. By August 2013, he had eight other pubs to his name - six others in Orchard Plaza and two in Cuppage Plaza. The New Paper's checks on Thursday night revealed that most, if not all of the pubs have since closed down.

Ang faces 232 charges in total, and is awaiting sentencing for abetting with others to procure women for the purpose of prostitution, abetting with others to harbour the women, and living off their immoral earnings and managing brothels. His wife is also awaiting sentencing for six charges of procuring women for the purpose of prostitution and one count of living off immoral earnings. They are expected to be sentenced on Monday.

brynasim@sph.com.sg