Woman jailed, fined for renting out units used for vice activities

She continued to do so despite multiple police warnings

Despite getting eight police warnings that her properties in People's Park Complex were being used for vice-related activities, Beh Dien Dien continued to let them out without checking her tenants' background.

The 45-year-old Singaporean knew that the tenants were prostitutes, a district court heard during her 13-day trial.

Yesterday, Beh was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail and fined $8,000.

District Judge Ong Chin Rhu had found her guilty last month of two counts of living on the earnings of prostitution and one count of renting out a property in the knowledge that it would be used as a brothel.

In his submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai said that Beh owns a unit on the eighth storey and another on the 19th storey of the Chinatown block.

She rented two more units in the same building - one on the 17th storey and another on the 25th.

In all, there were 27 rooms available within the four units.

Beh and her family did not live in any of them.

The court heard that when a sex worker was arrested for plying her trade in Beh's flat on the 19th storey of the building, Beh moved the Chinese national to her unit on the eighth floor.

Beh then got the woman to find a man to sign a tenancy agreement on her behalf so that she could distance herself, in case the Chinese national was arrested again.

A man called Luo Jin signed the papers.

Said DPP Lai: "It was abundantly clear that the accused had indeed tried to use Luo Jin as a cloak to mislead the authorities should (the sex worker) be arrested again."

Beh received a total of $8,600 from the Chinese national and another sex worker from China between November 2015 and March 2016, when the two sex workers were arrested.

"She knew they were prostitutes prior to renting out the premises to them," the DPP said.

"The accused was way more culpable than a 'negligent landlord'. She had purposefully not done anything to stop prostitutes from renting her units so as to maximise profits."

Beh is appealing against her conviction and sentence and was offered bail of $20,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'Woman jailed, fined for renting out units used for vice activities'. Print Edition | Subscribe