SINGAPORE - The police have arrested 29 women aged between 20 and 47 in an operation targeting pivoted KTVs.
The islandwide anti-crime operation from Tuesday to Thursday saw checks on 27 pivoted KTV lounges operating as food and beverage (F&B) establishments.
Under Covid-19 restrictions, nightlife operations, which include KTV lounges, are prohibited. But they have been allowed to pivot to offering food and beverage.
The police checked a total of 281 people found at the 27 places.
The women, of various nationalities, were arrested for offences under the Women’s Charter, the Immigration Act and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
Ten of them, aged between 21 and 34, have been deemed “undesirable immigrants” by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), and will be deported as they have had their short-term visit passes and work passes cancelled.
They were social hostesses working at three of the KTVs and intermingling with patrons.
One of them had also purportedly mingled with a patron at another pivoted KTV that was recently ordered to close for deep cleaning and disinfection.
The 10 women were arrested together with another 10 women on July 13 for working without a valid work pass or flouting the conditions of their work pass.
The police are still investigating the other 10 women who were arrested that day.
Checks by the police found that 11 of the 27 KTVs had possibly breached safe management measures. The 11 are:
- The Charm at Fook Hai Building
- Icon2 at Parklane mall
- U Pub at 791 Geylang Road
- World Music at 2 Aliwal Street
- Ming Chin Imperial Kitchen at Golden Mile Complex
- AS CY Bistro at Golden Mile Complex
- Saigon at 787 Geylang Road
- Classic Hollywood at 3A River Valley Road
- James Distribution at Golden Mile Complex
- Rendezvous Snack at Orchard Towers
- True Love at 211 Geylang Road
Under Covid-19 regulations, all F&B operators have to ensure that physical interaction between customers, visitors and their workers is minimised, and they are not allowed to provide any form of public entertainment or recorded music.
All sale and consumption of liquor must end before 10.30pm.
The police warned that they will not hesitate to take enforcement action against errant operators, including revoking any existing Public Entertainment Licence or Liquor Licence.
The Singapore Food Agency will also consider revoking the food licences of pivoted operators who commit breaches.
Those found not complying with safe management measures may be jailed for up to six months, or fined up to $10,000, or both.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.