Geylang brothel madam jailed for 14 months

Geylang brothel madam jailed for 14 months
File photo of prostitutes in Geylang.

SINGAPORE - A Geylang brothel madam who raked in more than $18,000 in just 2 1/2 months was jailed for 14 months on Friday.

Zhang Changyan, 24, admitted to nine of the 23 charges, including detaining prostitutes against their will and attempting to obstruct the course of justice.

The Chinese national tried to leave Singapore using someone else's passport while on court bail last October, but was caught at Changi Airport.

She and five Chinese women were arrested for vice-related activities last June.

Zhang had run a brothel at Lorong 4 Geylang.

She procured the women to work as prostitutes, harbouring them and living in part on their earnings, the court heard.

When one of them refused to work and another moved out after a quarrel, Zhang threatened to call the police to have them arrested.

She also told the second woman that she would call her brother in China to tell him about her work if she did not return to the brothel.

While the case was being investigated, Zhang tried to get two of the witnesses to change their police statements to remove all references to them having paid her money.

Between April and June last year, Zhang received $18,450 from the five prostitutes, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong Hefeng.

She would take suggestive photographs of them before uploading the images on the mobile phone application WeChat, advertising their sexual services.

"She is an invidious and manipulative person because she had threatened and invoked feelings of guilt in her witnesses so that they would continue to work in the brothel," said Mr Choong.

For most of the Women's Charter offences, the maximum penalty is five years' jail and $10,000 fine for each charge.

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