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24-year-old man who rented condo units to be used as brothels jailed, fined

SINGAPORE — A 24-year-old man who rented dozens of condominium units on behalf of other individuals who would use them as brothels was jailed 20 months and fined S$15,000 on Thursday (Jan 7).

Sheng Qing, a 24-year-old Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty to 16 counts related to cheating landlords into leasing their units to him and five counts of allowing a premise he rented to be used as a brothel.

Sheng Qing, a 24-year-old Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty to 16 counts related to cheating landlords into leasing their units to him and five counts of allowing a premise he rented to be used as a brothel.

SINGAPORE — A 24-year-old man who rented dozens of condominium units on behalf of other individuals who would use them as brothels was jailed 20 months and fined S$15,000 on Thursday (Jan 7).

Sheng Qing, a Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty to 16 charges related to cheating landlords into leasing their units to him and five counts of allowing a premise he rented to be used as a brothel.

Another 17 similar charges were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that around May 2018, Sheng came across an online advertisement looking for Singapore citizens, permanent residents or S-pass holders to sign tenancy agreements in exchange for cash.

He contacted the advertiser, known only as “DT”, who initially told him that the rented properties were for work permit holders unable to find a place to stay.

DT, whom the authorities have not identified, would pay Sheng S$300 to S$500 for each tenancy agreement he signed with a landlord.

After signing the rental agreements, Sheng would forward the bank account numbers of the landlords to DT, who would pay the deposit.

Sheng would then hand the keys over to runners.

Sheng knew early on that the apartments that he rented would be used at brothels. 

When he entered his first tenancy agreement, he had asked DT what the rented apartment was for and was told that it would be used to provide sexual services and to house prostitutes.

Despite knowing this, Sheng continued his deception at least 27 more times on unsuspecting landlords from May 2018 to June last year.

Around the same time, the police conducted several raids on the apartments rented by Sheng, which led to dozens of arrests of Chinese nationals for prostitution.

Court documents did not state the names or locations of the condominiums.

Seeking at least 25 months’ jail and a S$15,000 fine, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Goh Yong Ngee argued that Sheng was a “habitual and persistent offender” who was undeterred by the ongoing police investigations into his offences and continued to carry out his tasks for DT.

Sheng was first called up for police investigations in November 2018. Even after he was arrested in June 2019, he continued offending while out on bail.

“While not closely involved with the work of the prostitutes, (his) assistance was indispensable to the wider criminal enterprise,” DPP Goh said. 

Each offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. For each count of allowing the apartment he rented to be used as a brothel, Sheng could have been jailed up to three years or fined up to S$3,000, or both.

Related topics

pimp condominium rent brothel crime court

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