SINGAPORE: The police have been conducting extensive enforcement action against nightlife establishments, saidHome Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam as he addressed questions on the KTV COVID-19 cluster in Parliament on Monday (Jul 26).
Mr Shanmugam was responding to questions inParliament following ministerial statements by the co-chairs of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.
He spoke after Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong gave updates on the COVID-19situation in Singapore.
From October 2020 to Jul 10 this year, the police conducted 202 operations against pivoted outlets, and other outlets which were operating illegally, said Mr Shanmugam. There were 142 arrests in total.
“Assume we had said no to all pivoting of F&B operations there would still be places which offer sex and meet-up opportunities,that was always going to happen,” he said. “So we had one police operation every single day, on average since October 2020.”
Agencies have imposed around 100 closure orders on F&B outlets, including around 40 out of about 437 pivoted outlets. Seven pivoted outlets have had their food licence permanently revoked as of Jul 23.
Hostessing was not allowed in any setting and the women who were caught were operating illegally, in breach of their visit or work pass conditions, said Mr Shanmugam.
During the polices recent operations against nightlife outlets, 29 women of various nationalities, were arrested. They were aged between 20 and 47.
The 29 include permanent residents, Work Pass holders, S Pass holders, long-term and short-term visit pass holders.Oneentered from a country that Singapore had opened unilaterally to, and there were some with students passesand dependants passes.
Five entered Singapore under the “girlfriend” category.
So far, 16 women have had their passes cancelled and have been or will be deported, while investigations are ongoing for the other women.
Mr Shanmugam also addressed questions on the girlfriend/boyfriend category for visitors to Singapore, which the first woman linked to the KTV cluster had entered under in February.