80 youths - some as young as 12 - were arrested by the Singapore Police Force in July 2011 for being on the records of loansharks. Most of the traumatised school kids were just trying to earn extra pocket money by distributing fliers. To the police they were technically "assisting in the operations of illegal moneylenders".
80 men were hauled up for questioning by the authorities sometime last year - including a head of strategic planning at Police Training Command, a Navy officer, a National Environment Agency senior counsel and a school principal - for being listed in the laptop database of an online vice operation. 44 men, including 9 public servants, have been charged in court.
Their crime is having paid sex with a person under 18. Their foolishness is transacting through an alleged pimp who used to be an adviser to the chairman of Shell International Petroleum. Lulled by the confidence of dealing with a professional with impeccable credentials, the last thing they thought of was to ask the lady to swear on the Good Book and promise to tell the truth, the whole and nothing but the truth. About her age, that is.
Apparently the police have also been lulled into believing it's an open-and-shut case. Lawyers have now pointed out that the age of the girl is not included in the court documents. According to the legal eagles, this means the charges are technically flawed - "The charge sheets should set out her date of birth so we know she was below 18 at the time of the offence." Which means some of the 80 interviewed will not be charged if the liaison dangereuse was concluded an hour or a minute after she turned 18. The pertinent factoid here is that prostitution in Singapore is legal. Sure it's a sin in the eyes of the morally upright, but the law makers here appear to be on the side of the female with a service for hire. Hey, at $850 a session, she has to be the poster child of productivity.