Singapore hotel receptionist allegedly aids sex workers

Photo courtesy of South China Morning Post

A 36 year old Vietnamese hotel receptionist stands accused of not only harbouring sex workers but also pilfering a share of their earnings.

The scandal unfolded at the Lion Peak Hotel Bugis on Beach Road, Singapore, as Michael Tay Fook Meng, the 51 year old hotel manager, now dubbed a hotel keeper, faces charges for violating Hotel Licensing Regulations.

According to the charge sheet, Do Thi Tuyet Nhung facilitated three Thai sex workers in occupying rooms at the hotel on April 26, 2023. Her illicit activities allegedly involved collecting earnings from the workers aged 34 or 35 between April 20 and April 23.

Law enforcement authorities claim the hotel receptionist, Tuyet Nhung, not only facilitated the provision of sexual services but also deducted a commission from the sex workers’ earnings. An enforcement operation by the Central Police Division on April 25 and April 26 resulted in the arrest of eight vice workers using remote communication services to offer sexual services, leading investigators to suspect the receptionist’s involvement.

Under the Women’s Charter, Tuyet Nhung faces three counts of living in part on the earnings of sex work. Meanwhile, the manager, Tay, is accused of violating Regulation 24 of the Hotels Licensing Regulations, which prohibits permitting individuals known or suspected to be sex workers, catamites, or of bad character to occupy hotel rooms or frequent the premises, reported South China Morning Post.

Represented by Mary Magdeline Pereira from Whitefield Law Corporation, Tay is set to return to court in January. Tuyet Nhung’s case heads to a pre-trial conference after she pleaded not guilty.

If convicted, Tay faces fines up to US$750 (approximately 26,000 baht) for a first-time offence, potentially doubling for repeat offenders. The court holds the power to cancel or suspend any certificate, registration, or licence granted under the Hotels Act.

On the other hand, if found guilty, Tuyet Nhung could face up to seven years in jail and a fine of up to US$75,000 (approximately 2 million baht) for a first-time offence. A more severe penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to approximately US$112,000 looms if she is a repeat offender.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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