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29 women nabbed in 3-day police crackdown on converted KTV lounges; 10 to be deported

SINGAPORE — The police have arrested 29 women aged between 20 and 47 of various nationalities after a three-day operation at pivoted KTV lounges in light of a growing Covid-19 cluster linked to these venues.

29 women nabbed in 3-day police crackdown on converted KTV lounges; 10 to be deported

Converted KTV lounges at Parklane Shopping Centre (left) and Golden Mile Complex (right) were among 11 outlets that the police said had "possibly breached" Covid-19 safety regulations.

  • ​29 women were arrested for various alleged offences
  • 10 of them will be deported after they were found to have served as social hostesses
  • They had also intermingled with different groups of patrons, investigations revealed

 

SINGAPORE — The police have arrested 29 women aged between 20 and 47 of various nationalities after a three-day operation at converted KTV lounges, in light of a growing Covid-19 cluster linked to these venues.

Ten of the women will be deported after being found to have worked as social hostesses at nightclubs that have converted to food-and-beverage (F&B) businesses, the police said in a statement early on Saturday (July 18).

They will also be barred from re-entering Singapore.

The 29 women were arrested for alleged offences under the Women’s Charter, the Immigration Act and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

As part of the islandwide enforcement blitz from July 13 to 15, the police inspected 27 converted KTV clubs. A total of 281 people were found in these outlets.

The KTV Covid-19 cluster, first announced on July 12, has since grown to 120 cases as of Friday.

‘UNDESIRABLE IMMIGRANTS’

The 10 women who will be deported were among 20 arrested on Wednesday, which the police had previously announced.

The police said then that those arrested were Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese and were nabbed at nightclubs along South Bridge Road, Selegie Road and Geylang Road.

The 10 who will be deported are aged between 21 and 34. They were found to have worked at three karaoke clubs and intermingled with different groups of  patrons.

Investigations have since revealed that one of them had mingled with a patron at another converted KTV lounge that was recently ordered to close for deep cleaning and disinfection.

The police said that the women had “blatantly breached” Covid-19 laws by engaging in these illegal activities. 

“The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority has deemed the 10 women as undesirable immigrants under the Immigration Act,” the police said.

Their short-term visit passes or work passes will be cancelled and they will be barred from re-entering Singapore.

Short-term visitors cannot engage in any form of employment — even unpaid ones — or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore. 

Investigations into the remaining 10 women arrested on Wednesday are ongoing.

11 OUTLETS ‘POSSIBLY BREACHED’ RULES

During the operation, the police also found 11 converted KTV clubs that had “possibly breached” Covid-19 safety regulations.

These regulations require eateries to minimise physical interaction between customers and staff members. They are also not allowed to sell alcohol after 10.30pm, play any form of music or provide entertainment.

The 11 outlets are:

  • The Charm at Fook Hai Building in Chinatown

  • ICON2 at Parklane Shopping Mall on Selegie Road

  • U Pub along Geylang Road

  • Saigon along Geylang Road

  • True Love along Geylang Road

  • World Music along Aliwal Street

  • Ming Chin Imperial Kitchen at Golden Mile Complex on Beach Road

  • AS CY Bistro at Golden Mile Complex

  • James Distribution at Golden Mile Complex

  • Classic Hollywood along River Valley Road

  • Rendezvous Snack at Orchard Tower


The Singapore Food Agency will consider revoking the food licences of operators found in serious breach of these rules, the police said. Converted KTV lounges that have their food licences revoked must stop operations immediately.

The police added that they will not hesitate to take enforcement action against errant operators, including revoking their public entertainment or liquor licenses, which will mean that they cannot provide those services even after the nightlife sector is allowed to resume operations in their original pre-pandemic form.

True Love bistro and KTV pub along Geylang Road. Photo: TrueLove Bistro & KTV Pub/Facebook

Pubs, bars, nightclubs, discotheques and karaoke lounges have been barred from operating in their original form since March last year and many have pivoted to provide F&B services in order to continue running.

Offenders found to have breached safe management measures under Covid-19 regulations may be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both.

Related topics

police KTV hostesses Covid-19 coronavirus ICA deportation

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