Singapore — A Bangladeshi woman who came to Singapore for employment was promised S$1,000 if she would engage in sexual activity with club customers.
The woman came to Singapore through an agent under the premise that she would work as a domestic worker.
However, she was given a dancer position at a club.
Two weeks into her job, the woman was promised compensation if she had sex with a friend of one of the club’s bosses, reported The Straits Times.
When the woman refused, one of the bosses slapped her.
A month later, she and three other club dancers went to the authorities to report the incident.
In 2020, the club owners, Rajendran Nagarethinam, 60, and Arumaikannu Sasikumar, were found guilty of several prostitution-related offences and for obstructing the course of justice.
Rajendran, a Singaporean, was given four charges, while Sasikumar, a permanent resident, received three charges.
They appealed against their charges and sentences.
On Wednesday (Aug 25), it was reported that the High Court allowed Rajendran’s appeals in part, removing one charge and reducing the sentence to two other charges.
Rajendran’s sentence was lessened from 30 months imprisonment and a S$3,000 fine to 19 months and a S$2,500 fine.
Meanwhile, the court dismissed Sasikumar’s appeals and maintained his sentence of 16 months imprisonment and S$11,000 fine.
The duo had employed several women as performing artists to entertain customers at their club called Kollywood.
Two of the women were Akter Bithi and Akter Tina, both in their mid-20s when they arrived in Singapore in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The court heard that the club owners and a Bangladeshi employee named Roky asked the women to have sex with customers.
Worried that her salary would not be paid, Ms Bithi reluctantly agreed, and she was paid S$500 each by two customers. Ms Bithi handed the payment over to Sasikumar.
Ms Tina refused the request, despite Rajendran showing her bundles of S$50 and S$100 notes.
Rajendran then slapped Ms Tina and grabbed her by the neck, but she was able to free herself, reported ST.
On Feb 11, 2016, the two women and two others left the flat they were residing in and reported the incident to the Manpower Ministry.
The women revealed they had not been paid their salaries and were forced to go out with customers.
The club owners faced charges for hiring Ms Bithi for prostitution purposes and living on her earnings from the activity.
Rajendran received a charge for hiring Ms Tina for sexual exploitation.
The two men also faced a charge of obstructing justice by helping Roky leave Singapore to avoid arrest.
In his appeal, Rajendran noted that he had hired Ms Tina as a domestic helper and then a performing artiste and not for sexual exploitation.
He added there was no exploitation involved because she refused the requests.
He also argued the same for Ms Bithi, noting he did not hire her for prostitution.
Regarding Rajendran’s sentence, Justice Tay acquitted his procurement charge due to lacking evidence proving the accused was involved in the first incident of Ms Bithi’s sexual activities.
Judge Tay also amended Rajendran’s attempted recruitment charge from 14 months to seven months imprisonment.
For living on the earnings of prostitution, Rajendran’s sentence was halved from eight months’ jail and a S$1,000 fine to four months’ jail and a S$500 fine. /TISG
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