SINGAPORE - To help boost its business, a pub in Circular Road set up a "VIP" area in the rear of its premises.
It had five waist-high cubicles and a button-operated smoke machine that hostesses would activate for added privacy when performing oral sex on customers at $220 per session, drinks included.
Also, Filipinas hired on work permits by the Kenneth Hideout pub as entertainers would provide sex. Such $300, two-hour sessions were carried out elsewhere.
The women were paid basic salaries, and commissions based on the drinks and sexual services sold. But they would have to settle debts owed to the pub before being entitled to their earnings. The debts included expenses incurred in bringing them here from the Philippines.
Kenneth Hideout was eventually shut down following a raid.
Yesterday, four people were handed jail terms ranging from one to seven months for various offences - under the Women's Charter - which they committed between June 2010 and June 2012.
The four are former pub owner Chan Lye Hua, 56; managers Alan Sin Chee Chew, 50, and Tan Peng Soon, 58; and cashier Nurfarhana Jailan, 24.
In sentencing them, a community court considered the roles each had played. It noted that they had played important roles in what had been an "extensive" operation.
Pleading for leniency, their lawyer, Gurdaib Singh, said they were remorseful and had no similar convictions previously.
The pub was set up in 2008 by Chan. He introduced the hostesses two months after the pub's opening to boost its poor earnings.
In June 2010, he asked Sin, a friend who had helped with the business from the start, to help manage the pub. The duo, who were given seven and five months' jail, respectively, took turns to arrange for the Filipinas to come here. Chan would brief them on what they had to do at work.
Tan was employed in April 2012. Besides preparing a daily sales report, his involvement included suggesting setting up the VIP area to give added privacy to customers wanting oral sex. Tan was jailed for two months.
Nurfarhana joined as a barmaid in 2010. In April 2012, she became the cashier and would key in the transactions. She was jailed for a month.
The court heard that Chan would take half of the hostesses' earnings from prostitution, from which he would pay the trio.
The maximum penalty for living on a prostitute's earnings is a five-year jail term and $10,000 in fines.
This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.