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Police probing 187 people following raids at public entertainment outlets

SINGAPORE — The police are investigating 187 individuals for allegedly operating, working at or patronising public entertainment outlets, following a series of raids across one-and-a-half months since the end of last year. 

Police probing 187 people following raids at public entertainment outlets

A shophouse unit along Geylang Road (pictured) was laid out like a karaoke lounge.

  • The police are investigating 187 individuals following raids at 103 nightlife and public entertainment outlets
  • All of them are either operators, staff members or patrons of these outlets
  • Sixteen operators of both licensed and unlicensed outlets were found to have violated several regulations

SINGAPORE — The police are investigating 187 individuals for allegedly operating, working at or patronising public entertainment outlets, following a series of raids across one-and-a-half months since the end of last year. 

In a media release on Friday (Jan 28), the police said that operators of 16 public entertainment and nightlife outlets, some of which were unlicensed, were believed to have violated several legislations.

These included selling alcohol without a licence, hiring foreign workers without a valid work permit and allowing the number of people gathered to exceed the maximum group size under Covid-19 safe distancing requirements. 

Police conducted checks at 103 public entertainment and nightlife outlets between Dec 12 last year and Jan 23. 

"The 187 persons being investigated comprise operators, staff and customers," they said, adding that investigations are ongoing.

WHAT POLICE FOUND AT THREE PLACES

1. Lorong 23 Geylang

During a raid on Dec 18 last year at an office-cum-industrial building located along Lorong 23 Geylang, police found a unit that had been designed like a karaoke lounge where there were private rooms equipped with karaoke systems, speakers and microphones.

Officers from the Bedok Police Division found 37 men and 12 women gathered there, aged between 21 and 42. 

Among them, two men aged 29 and 32, who were identified as operators of the establishment, have been arrested for allegedly supplying alcohol without a licence, working without a valid work permit and failing to close a non-permitted business under Covid-19 regulations. 

Two Vietnamese women, aged 22 and 28 and suspected of providing hostessing services, were also arrested for not having a valid work permit. 

One 37-year-old male patron was also arrested because he supposedly turned aggressive and uttered vulgarities at the police officers when they were carrying out checks on him. 

If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 12 months or fined, or both, under the Protection from Harassment Act. 

The other 35 men and 10 women will be investigated for being part of a gathering with more than five people, which is the now maximum group size under Covid-19 rules. 

A unit at an office-cum-industrial building located along Lorong 23 Geylang (pictured) had private rooms equipped with karaoke systems, speakers and microphones.

2. Geylang Road 

On Dec 31 last year, police officers from the same police division also conducted an operation at a shophouse unit along Geylang Road, which was also laid out like a karaoke lounge.

They found 21 men and 19 women, aged between 27 and 63, during their inspection.

Out of the 40 people there, two men and two women were identified as the operators and were arrested for purportedly supplying alcohol without a licence. They were aged between 27 and 44. 

They will also be investigated for not closing a non-permitted enterprise. The rest will be investigated for being part of gathering with more than five people. 

Most of the 40 people at a shophouse on Geylang Road (pictured) will be investigated for being part of a gathering with more than the permitted five people allowed under Covid-19 rules. 

3. Beng Wan Road 

Police officers from the Central Police Division conducted operations on Jan 7 this year at a private home along Beng Wan Road in Bendemeer and found seven men and three women gathered for a dinner as well as a sing-along session. 

Preliminary investigations showed that the owner of the unit, a 28-year-old man, used his property to run a food-and-beverage business, including the provision of public entertainment, and without the required licences.

The food was believed to have been prepared by workers he hired and sold as part of a private dining package along with the provision of karaoke equipment, the police said. 

He will be investigated for these alleged offences, in addition to not shutting a non-permitted enterprise under Covid-19 safe distancing regulations. 

The remaining six men and three women will be investigated for being part of a gathering with more than five people.

A private home along Beng Wan Road (pictured) allegedly hosted seven men and three women for a dinner as well as a sing-along session.

Those found guilty of supplying alcohol without a valid licence can be fined up to S$20,000. Those convicted of providing public entertainment without a proper licence also face the same penalty. 

If found guilty of breaching Covid-19 requirements, these individuals may be jailed up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both. 

The police said that they will continue to carry out regular enforcement checks on public entertainment and nightlife outlets to suppress illicit activities.

"Members of the public and businesses are advised to take the prevailing safe management measures seriously. The police have zero tolerance for irresponsible behaviour relating to the flouting of these measures and offenders will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law," they added.

CLARIFICATION: In an earlier version of this report, it was stated that the police are investigating 188 individuals following a series of raids at the end of last year. The police have clarified that it is 187 individuals. 

Related topics

crime nightlife public entertainment licence karaoke F&B breach Covid-19

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