Russian vice ring busted four arrested

Some of the female foreigners arrested for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities. (Photo: SPF)

SINGAPORE: Four foreign women were arrested on Thursday (May 4) for their suspected involvement in vice-related activities, the police said on Friday.

Three of the women are from Russia and one is from Uzbekistan, and their ages range between 26 and 39, according to the police in their press release.

Their arrests came about after Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers conducted simultaneous raids in Raffles Boulevard, Tanjong Katong Road and Cairnhill Road on Thursday. The women allegedly made use of their stay in Singapore on valid work passes to commit vice-related offences, police said.

Channel NewsAsia understands that two of the Russians were here on employment passes, while the other two women were on long term visit passes.

According to the Manpower Ministry’s website, foreigners need to work in a managerial, executive or specialised job, and earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,600 in order to qualify for employment passes, which are valid for a year.

The vice syndicate has been advertising the sexual services of women on at least 10 different online platforms, including Backpage, Skokka, Yelp and other dedicated vice websites, according to the police’s preliminary investigations.

The syndicate claimed to provide high-class escort services at rates starting from S$500 an hour, and potential customers can book the girls’ services via mobile phone numbers or email addresses provided on the websites, the police added.

During the operation, 13 mobile phones, four laptops, a tablet computer, condoms and related documents were seized as case exhibits.

A 39-year-old suspect will be charged on Saturday under the Women’s Charter, while investigations are ongoing for the other three.

Under the Women’s Charter, anyone who knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person, faces up to five years’ jail and a fine of up to S$10,000.

Source: CNA/kk

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