Asia

81-year-old man to be charged with running unlicensed massage place during Covid-19 circuit breaker

SINGAPORE – Despite rules which ordered the shuttering of non-essential businesses during the circuit breaker last year, an 81-year-old allegedly operated an unlicensed massage establishment.

In one of the places, police found that the man had also failed to prevent a masseuse he hired from providing sexual services.

The circuit breaker from April 7 to June 1 was introduced to reduce movements and interactions in public and private places amid an increase in local Covid-19 infections.

Despite this, the man continued to run a massage place in Hougang Street 21. He was also found to be operating another without a licence in Aljunied.

Police said they were alerted to the place he ran in Hougang on April 17. When they checked, they found that he had allegedly failed to ensure his employee did not provide sexual services.

The man, who was not identified in the media release, will be charged on Wednesday (Jan 20) with operating unlicensed massaged establishments; failing to ensure his employee was not providing sexual services; and for operating the establishments during the circuit breaker.

For operating a massage place without a licence, he may be fined up to $10,000 or could face up two years imprisonment, or a combination of both penalties.

Repeat offences carry a fine of up to $20,000 or five years in jail, or both.

For failing to stop his employees from providing sexual services, he may be fined up to $5,000.

Operating a non-essential service during the circuit breaker carries a fine of up to $10,000 and/or six months of imprisonment.

The police said they would also take action against landlords who knowingly lease their premises to unlicensed massage establishment operators.

The landlord will be notified when a tenant has been charged in court for operating an unlicensed massage establishment.

If the tenant is convicted, the landlord must repossess the premises within a month from the tenant.

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