[Above: The New Paper uncovered this jungle brothel in 2007; Insert: The Malaysian Chinese man - Lee Swee Teck, 31.]
By Shree Ann Mathavan
HE is known as Candy, but this big-time pimp is anything but sweet, according to Bangkok Post reports.
The Malaysian Chinese man - Lee Swee Teck, 31 - was depicted in the reports as a ruthless, scheming pimp who had 10 to 20 girls working under him at any one time.
The sharp dresser lured Thai women into prostituting themselves in the jungle brothels of Woodlands to service foreign workers from Thailand, Malaysia, China and India. The report described how Lee exploited the women.
He made each of them service the first 160 customers for free. Beyond that, the money belonged to the women.
It is understood Lee and two other men were arrested in Singapore earlier this month for vice-related activities.
Apart from exploiting the women,the Thai newspaper reported that Lee paid police officers here monthly bribes of about $4,000.
In return, Lee, would be forewarned of any impending raids, claimed the report.
A police officer, identified as Jack, would allegedly obtain free sex from the girls - in exchange for not arresting them for working without a valid permit.
But police spokesman Inspector Mohd Hamizyam strongly refuted Bangkok Post's claims.
He said: "While the police do not condone any acts of corruption and abuse of power, our investigations have revealed that the allegations made by Bangkok Post against our officers are unsubstantiated.
"Instead, one auxiliary police officer and three private security officers are currently assisting in ongoing investigations after the arrest of the three men."
|GOING TO WORK: Women arriving at a jungle brothel along Woodlands Avenue 9.
Lee and the two men were arrested for soliciting and living off the immoral earnings of women, an offence under the Women's Charter.
Bangkok Post also claimed that it tipped Singapore authorities off about Lee, leading to the arrests.
If convicted, Lee can be jailed up to five years and fined up to $10,000.
Released on bail
The nationalities of the other men are not known. It is understood that all three men have been released on bail and have yet to be charged.
The New Paper was unable to obtain a response from Bangkok Post last night.
The newspaper report claimed Lee told the women before they came to Singapore that they would be able to earn over 80,000 baht ($3,400) a month.
The women, claimed the report, knew they would be working here as prostitutes.
But even before coming to Singapore, the women and their families would already chalk up debts of up to 20,000 baht ($860) for air fare and spending cash.
Typically, the women, who were in their 20s to early 40s, arrived here on a 30-day holiday visa before returning to Thailand.
They worked in miserable conditions and serviced foreign workers on filthy mattresses in makeshift tents for about $20 per customer.
Once they "hit" 160 customers, the women got to keep the money, but the news report claimed that even then, Lee made deductions for miscellaneous items, including condoms and lubricant.
He even charged them $10 per night for the bed.
The newspaper tracked Lee for six months and claimed he became rich off the earnings of 10 women.
Lee earned $32,000 a month, claimed the report.
When they weren't working, Lee housed the women in his friend's three-bedroom flat in Woodlands.
They slept on bunk beds crammed into two of the rooms and Lee would also sleep there with them.
The newspaper described him as a "persuasive talker", whom women couldn't resist despite his small physique.
Lee is understood to be married with four young daughters who live in Johor.
The report claimed Lee also paid a 19-year-old Thai woman $1,000 each month to be his mistress.
This article was first published in The New Paper.