Indian-origin jailed for harbouring prostitutes in Singapore

Singapore, Jul 30: An ethnic Indian former staff sergeant of the Singapore armed forces has been jailed for a year for harbouring prostitutes, a report said today.

Muralidharan Pillai, 53, pleaded guilty in April to offences that included procuring and harbouring six Filipino women for prostitution and living off their earnings, 'The Straits Times' reported.

During a trial in October 2011, the district court heard that a social worker had informed the police that three Filipinos were forced to work as prostitutes at a pub named 'Face 2 Face'. A police raid followed and seven Filipino women were arrested from the pub.

One of the arrested was an agent for procuring women from the Philippines. The prostitutes gave half of their earnings to Pillai. Investigations showed that one of the woman had given Pillai as much as SGD 13,000 (USD 10,252) in just five months in 2011 from her earnings.

Pillai, who is married to a Filipina and has a five-year old son, left the armed forces in 1997. He set up the pub 'Face 2 Face' and food catering business in 2008. Pleading for leniency yesterday, Pillai's defence counsel N Kanagavijayan told the court his client was facing bankruptcy proceedings. Pillai could have been jailed up to five years and fine SGD 10,000.


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