110 people probed in clampdown on gambling, vice activities
More than 100 people are being investigated for their alleged involvement in various illicit activities, including vice, gambling and unlicensed moneylending, after a joint operation last week.
The 110 suspects, aged between 17 and 70, were hauled up by officers from the Tanglin Police Division and Criminal Investigation Department, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and Health Sciences Authority.
Officers also seized about cash, computers and other electronic hardware worth about $7,000 in all, along with e-vaporisers and gambling paraphernalia, after several raids in the joint enforcement operation from April 26 to 28.
Among the suspects, 48 women aged between 20 and 47 are being investigated for vice activities following raids conducted at various massage establishments and commercial units in Toa Payoh, Bukit Timah, River Valley and Sin Ming Road.
After raids carried out in Bishan and Toa Payoh to tackle unlawful gambling activities, 11 people aged between 54 and 70 are being investigated for their alleged involvement in roles such as illegal bookmakers, runners and punters. From these raids, the authorities seized $2,022 cash, mobile phones and gambling paraphernalia.
Those involved in unlawful betting operations face a fine not exceeding $200,000 and up to five years’ jail, and those found guilty of gambling with an unlawful gambling service provider will be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
Another 19 suspects, aged between 21 and 65, were allegedly found gaming remotely during a raid of two offices in a building in Burn Road in the MacPherson area. Officers retrieved more than $5,000 worth of cash, computers and electronic hardware facilitating remote gaming, which refers to playing a game of chance for a price or playing a gaming machine.
Six women at public entertainment outlets in Orchard Road were arrested for working without a valid work permit. Eleven electronic vaporisers were also seized.
It is an offence to sell, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers and related components. Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both. The maximum sentence is doubled for repeat offenders.
It is also an offence for anyone to possess, purchase or use e-vaporisers and their related components. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000 for each offence.
Another part of the joint operation brought in 26 individuals aged between 17 and 69 for investigation for their alleged involvement in unlicensed moneylending activities and for operating as money mules.
Carrying on or assisting in a business of unlicensed moneylending is illegal, and carries a jail term of up to four years, a fine of between $30,000 and $300,000, and caning of up to six strokes.
Those convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined, while those found guilty of money laundering face a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.
Carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence carries a fine of up to $125,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both.
Those involved in illicit activities will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law, said Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Cheong Chee Ming, commander of the Tanglin Police Division.
He said: “The joint operation led by Tanglin Police Division demonstrates the police’s ongoing effort to keep the streets safe and secure for everyone.
“We will continue to sustain the tempo of operations and work closely with other law enforcement agencies to take tough actions against those involved in illicit activities.”