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Quek Choon Leong, 34, and Huynh Thi Kieu Trang, 35, had operated a large-scale and sophisticated enterprise with 32 prostitutes and 10 other staff for two years until their arrest in July Huynh was serving a month jail sentence, having admitted to 34 of vice-related charges last year, but was brought back to court to face nine charges for similar offences committed while she and her husband were out on bail for the earlier offences.
She pleaded guilty in April this year to three of the nine charges while Quek admitted to 33 of 97 charges, which were mainly for living on prostitution earnings and harbouring women for prostitution. She began visiting regularly and living with Quek, at a lodging house in Tembeling Road. Ina housemate advised Huynh to source more Vietnamese women to rent out rooms to.
She succeeded in securing tenants and would have five or six staying at her lodging house at any point in time. Afew months later, Quek went to stay with friends in a condominium in Geylang while Huynh returned to Vietnam to give birth to their first. In Vietnam, she told acquaintances she would be able to rent them a place to stay in Singapore. A few did come after she had returned.
Around earlyHuynh got involved in another enterprise whereby she would meet women arriving at the airport, offer them a place to stay while they worked as hostesses, and collect money from them to remit to her contact in Vietnam. After the couple were kicked out of the condo following a police raid, they rented two lodging houses in Geylang.
Later, they began to hear from a lodger, a freelance prostitute, that she earned more from vice than as a hostess. In earlyHuynh suggested to her husband that they propose that their tenants work as prostitutes under them.
To run the enterprise, the couple recruited several helpers, including two agents in Vietnam to procure attractive women. They ed a tenancy agreement, with a set of "rules" imposed by the couple. Huynh would arrange for the women to solicit customers in Geylang and hire lookouts for law enforcement officers so she could warn her workers. They were on court bail at the time.
And some time before early August last year - weeks before she was jailed - Huynh again arranged for three Vietnamese women to come and work as prostitutes. For that, she was given an additional 10 months' jail in April this year which will take effect after she finishes her current jail sentence. This article was first published on May 12, Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.
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Singaporean and his Vietnamese wife jailed for living on prostitution earnings