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20 women nabbed for suspected vice activities at 3 KTV lounges operating as F&B outlets; arrests unrelated to Covid-19 cluster

SINGAPORE — The police have arrested 20 women for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities at three KTV lounges that are operating as food-and-beverage (F&B) outlets.

SINGAPORE — The police have arrested 20 women for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities at three KTV lounges that are operating as food-and-beverage (F&B) outlets.

The women, who are Korean, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese, were arrested on Tuesday (July 13) during an anti-crime operation conducted along South Bridge Road, Selegie Road and Geylang Road, the police said in a press release on Wednesday.

TODAY understands that the arrests are not related to the Covid-19 cluster linked to such entertainment venues.

Earlier on Wednesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced that out of 56 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, 41 of them were linked to a rapidly growing cluster involving KTV or karaoke lounges.

He said that the formation and growth of the KTV cluster is a “troubling and disappointing” development and that more Covid-19 cases are to be expected in the coming days. Mr Ong also said that the police will be taking action against the lounges and hostesses for flouting Covid-19 rules.

The police statement said that the 20 women will be investigated for alleged offences under the Women’s Charter, the Immigration Act and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

The police are also investigating the three operators of the premises where the women were working for breaking safe distancing rules under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

These lounges have allegedly provided hostessing services within their premises even though they have converted into F&B outlets.

One of the outlets also allegedly provided dice games, which is a prohibited entertainment activity under the regulation.

The police added that the Singapore Food Agency will be looking to revoke their food licences if they are found to have committed “egregious breaches” of Covid-19 safe management rules.

If the agency decides to do so, this means that these KTV lounges would have to stop operating with immediate effect until they re-apply for a new food licence and are granted approval.

The police said that they will be further stepping up checks on such outlets and also stepping up enforcement against vice and other illegal activities.

In November last year, the Government launched a pilot scheme for nightlife businesses to reopen.

However, it also encouraged nightlife businesses to pivot to other permissible activities given that their usual mode of business is unlikely to resume anytime soon given the need to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic by minimising social interactions.

For breaking safe distancing rules under the current regulations, offenders may be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus crime police vice KTV food-and-beverage

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