Man fined $2,000 for allowing rented flat to be used as brothel

Singapore’s State Courts. (Yahoo file photo)

A man was fined $2,000 in the State Courts on Monday (16 October) for letting prostitutes operate in his rented flat.

Lau Syen Chao, a 31-year-old Malaysian, pleaded guilty to one count under the Women’s Charter for allowing a place to be used as a brothel.

The court heard that Lau, a fruit stall operator, often engaged paid sexual services from mainland Chinese prostitutes through a man known as Jun Zi. The duo became acquainted and Jun Zi would contact Lau whenever he had new prostitutes in Singapore, or had prostitutes who provided good services.

In February 2017, Jun Zi asked Lau to rent a room in his name for Jun Zi’s workers to use in exchange for cash. Lau agreed and signed a tenancy agreement in March 2017 for a unit at Yishun Ave 6. He received RMB 2,500 (about S$500) in his WeChat account from Jun Zi.

Sometime around late April to early May this year, Jun Zi informed Lau he had new prostitutes in town.

Lau paid for sexual services of a prostitute on multiple occasions in the unit. He later moved into the unit to live with her and another Chinese prostitute. He was aware the women were using the unit for vice activities but did not tell them to stop. All three were arrested when police raided the unit on 1 June this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon said that the accused received paid sexual services from one of the witnesses and knew that since April, the unit was used for vice activities. She asked the court to fine the accused.

In mitigation, Lau said he was a first-time offender earning a meagre income working at a fruit stall and asked for a light fine. He added that there was a high chance of his employment pass not being renewed.

As a first-time offender, Lau could have been fined up to $3,000 or jailed up to three years or both for allowing his rented unit to be used as a brothel. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, the penalty is a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to five years or both.

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