29 women were arrested by the Singapore police during an island-wide anti-crime operation which ran from July 13 to 15.
The operation covered 27 KTV lounges, which have pivoted into food and beverage (F&B) outlets.
The women were between the ages of 20 and 47, and of various nationalities.
They were apprehended for offences under the Women’s Charter, the Immigration Act and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
10 women deported
20 women were found to have been working without a valid work pass or flouting the conditions of their work pass.
According to the Singapore Police Force, short-term visitors cannot engage in any form of employment, be it paid or unpaid, or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore.
However, they were caught working as social hostesses within three KTV lounges which pivoted to F&B outlets, and intermingling with different groups of patrons.
One woman was found to have mingled with a patron at another pivoted KTV lounge that was recently ordered to close for deep cleaning and disinfection.
Of the 20 women, 10 have had their short-term visit passes or work passes cancelled and they will be deported.
In addition, the 10 women, who have been deemed as "undesirable immigrants" by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, will be barred from re-entering Singapore.
Investigations are ongoing for the other ten women.
11 outlets breached Safe Management Measures
A total of 281 persons found within the premises of these outlets were also checked during the three-day island-wide anti-crime operation.
Checks were also conducted by the police to ensure Safe Management Measures (SMMs) were observed. 11 outlets were found to have possibly breached SMMs and they are:
- 1) The Charm at 150 South Bridge Road, Fook Hai Building, #B1-32
- 2) ICON2 at 35 Selegie Road, Parklane Shopping Centre, #04-26/27
- 3) U Pub at 791 Geylang Road #01-01
- 4) World Music at 2 Aliwal Street, #01-01
- 5) Ming Chin Imperial Kitchen at 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, #02-39
- 6) AS CY Bistro at 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex #B1-05/06
- 7) Saigon at 787 Geylang Road
- 8) Classic Hollywood at 3A River Valley Road, #03-02
- 9) James Distribution at 5001 Beach Road #03-19
- 10) Rendezvous Snack at Orchard Tower #01-11
- 11) True Love at 211 Geylang Rd
Under Covid-19 regulations, all F&B operators are to ensure that physical interaction between customers, visitors and their workers is minimised, and are not allowed to provide any form of public entertainment or recorded music.
All sales and consumption of liquor must end before 10:30pm.
The Singapore Food Agency will consider revoking the food licences of pivoted operators that breached SMMs, and operations will cease with immediate effect.
The police said they will not hesitate to take enforcement action against errant operators, including permanently revoking any existing Public Entertainment Licence and/or Liquor Licence.
Those found not complying with SMMs may be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
The three-day islandwide operation comes after a Covid-19 cluster emerged from several KTV lounges.
On the same day, the Ministry of Health (MOH) ordered the immediate suspension of all KTV lounges and nightclubs operating as F&B establishments and outlets.
The suspension will last for two weeks and end on July 30, 2021.
In addition, individuals who have visited hotspots at the same time as a confirmed Covid-19 case will receive a "Health Risk Warning" SMS.
These individuals are legally required to get tested for Covid-19.
Top image by Allan Heng and TB Foo/Google Maps