Trainer used martial arts gym as gaming house

A gongfu trainer who used a Chinese martial arts gym as a gaming house was jailed for 10 days and fined $10,000 on Tuesday.

Tan Soh Tin, 74, admitted to allowing the public to enter the premises at Lorong 15 Geylang to play mahjong.

Prosecution officer Kelvin Lee Ming Woei said that acting on information received, police raided the premises on Feb 14 and arrested Tan, two co-accused and four others that day.

Investigations showed that Tan had rented the premises for $2,000 a month to operate a Chinese martial arts gym known as Master Tan's Gym. But he also set up two mahjong tables for members of the public, who would pay to play.

The money he got from this went to covering part of his rental cost.

Assistant Superintendent Lee said that to manage the sessions, Tan enlisted the help of Chua Thian Lye, 66, and Sim Kim Huat, 65, who would collect $3 from each player for every round played.

In a round, a total of $12 would be collected from all the players.

Chua and Sim, whose cases will be mentioned next Wednesday, admitted to playing mahjong the day they were caught and said that they had found out about the mahjong sessions through word of mouth.

The stakes involved were about $100 to $200 a game.

The other four players were fined between $1,000 and $2,000 each for gaming.

Tan could have been fined up to $50,000 and jailed for up to three years for the offence.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2017, with the headline Trainer used martial arts gym as gaming house. Subscribe