SINGAPORE (DPA): New scams used by pimps have been uncovered to sneak women from Indonesia's Batam island into Singapore to work as prostitutes, a news report said Friday.
The most common ruses are fake marriage documents, forged doctor's referral letters and posing as tourists, The Straits Times revealed.
With fake marriage papers, a Singaporean man and a Batam woman pass themselves off as a married couple. A 42-year-old man was nabbed with 23 so-called marriages to his name.
The forged physician referral letters claim that the women need to visit Singapore for medical treatments including surgeries.
Those posing as tourists produce at least 500 Singapore dollars (US$295) as proof to immigration authorities that they want to visit or see relatives.
The women are often older than and less attractive than prostitutes at home, said Batam social worker Martje-Rogi.
"They are not sellable in Batam, so they try their luck in Singapore," she was quoted as saying.
Hundreds of men primarily from Singapore travel to the nearby island on weekends for sex, often with girls in their early teens.
The latest tactics by trafficking syndicates follow a vice crackdown by Singapore police, Comr. Bonny Djianto, chief of the Batam police station, told the newspaper.
Syndicates usually consist of a Singaporean chief, an Indonesian agent who procures the prostitutes and their fake documents, and a Singaporean runner who accompanies the women.
A suspect arrested for his alleged role in one of the syndicates estimates that there are 10 to 15 Singaporean syndicate chiefs and 20 to 30 minders who help run the sex trade into the city-state.
25 Nov 2005
The Jakarta Post