Police raids nab 130 in Little India, Kampong Glam

Police raids nab 130 in Little India, Kampong Glam
Hostesses (above) at one of the KTV parlours in Serangoon Road waiting while police officers check their documents.

An overnight police blitz in the Little India and Kampong Glam areas starting last Saturday night netted 130 suspects - 48 men and 82 women - the majority for offences involving illegal employment.

The suspects were aged between 18 and 73, and were also arrested for offences such as illegal gaming, unlawful assembly and drink driving.

Three illegal gambling dens were busted and four entertainment outlets were found to have breached their public entertainment licences, said police.

It is understood that the entertainment outlets, which included KTV parlours and discotheques, were illegally employing foreign hostesses, 76 of whom were arrested throughout the night.

A total of 170 officers from the Central Police Division, Criminal Investigation Department, Traffic Police, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Central Narcotics Bureau were involved in the operations.

The Straits Times rode along with police officers during the nine-hour raid.

This began at about 10pm last Saturday, when police swooped into a pair of KTV parlours along Serangoon Road. There, officers herded the foreign hostesses - believed to be Thai and Vietnamese - into rooms and checked their employment papers.

At the gambling dens, suspects sat slumped in their chairs as officers swarmed the place.

The order to stand-down was given at 7am, when the last illegal gambling den was raided.

The maximum penalty for illegally employing foreigners without valid work passes is a $30,000 fine or 12 months' imprisonment, or both.

Meanwhile, managing a place used as a common gaming house is an offence under the Common Gaming Houses Act, carrying a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000, and a jail term of up to three years.

The same punishments apply to anyone convicted of allowing their premises to be used for unauthorised gambling.

Anyone convicted of gaming in a common gaming house faces a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and six months behind bars.

"The police will continue to work closely with our enforcement counterparts to eradicate criminal activities and keep our streets clean," said Deputy Assistance Commissioner of Police Daniel Tan.

Investigations are ongoing.

dansonc@sph.com.sg

This article was published on Sept 1 in The Straits Times.

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