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Woman jailed 6 months, fined for running escort agency offering sex for up to S$1,000 an hour

SINGAPORE — A 57-year-old woman who ran social escort websites for about seven years was jailed for six months and fined S$4,200 on Tuesday (Aug 24).

Rita Xavier admitted running an online escort agency for about seven years.

Rita Xavier admitted running an online escort agency for about seven years.

SINGAPORE — A 57-year-old woman who ran social escort websites for about seven years was jailed for six months and fined S$4,200 on Tuesday (Aug 24).

Rita Xavier’s agency hired at least five to six female escorts who were paid by clients for sexual services. She estimated that she earned an average of S$3,500 a month from this.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to three charges under the Women’s Charter, with another four similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Xavier was the sole proprietor and operator of Bella Donna Promotion from 2012 to Sept 26, 2019, when police officers conducted a series of anti-vice operations and arrested her at her residence.

The company functioned through three similarly named websites.

When Xavier was nabbed, she provided the username and password of her administrator’s account for two of the sites, which promoted social escort services with rates ranging from S$500 to S$1,000 an hour.

Xavier received a share of 40 to 50 per cent of the charged sums as her commission.

The websites categorised the female escorts based on their ethnicity and carried their photographs. Interested clients would either email the address given there, or call a phone line operated by Xavier, before telling her which escort they wanted.

She then contacted the escorts to ascertain their availability. If they accepted, Xavier told the clients to book a hotel room before giving the details to the escorts.

Sometime in January 2018, a 46-year-old Singaporean woman, known as “Riya” to Xavier, came across one of the websites and contacted her to ask about working as an escort. Xavier then offered her a part-time job.

Several months later, Riya had sexual intercourse with an unknown male client for S$500, of which S$200 was transferred to Xavier.

Riya was detained at Hotel Miramar Singapore along Havelock Road when she went there for another assignment, on the same day Xavier was arrested.

In September 2018, a 24-year-old Singaporean woman whom Xavier knew as “Vanessa” also reached out to her to become an escort.

Vanessa estimated that between October 2018 and September 2019, she provided sexual services to at least 15 clients. She also transferred to Xavier’s bank account about S$4,000, which represented Xavier's share of the earnings.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee argued that Xavier played a substantial role in the operation and was motivated by the large share of profits she collected from the escorts.

Xavier’s lawyer, Mr AP Thirumurthy, asked for a shorter jail term of five months, saying in mitigation that none of the escorts were underage.

For living in part on prostitution earnings and procuring a prostitute, she could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to S$10,000.

Related topics

court crime escort agency women's charter prostitution sexual services

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