Sunday, April 27, 2008

They're arresting people at saunas again.

They haven't done this since kind of thing since 2001. Time to seriously consider migrating.

UPDATE: I'm compiling a list of accounts of the night. Some contradict each other. 

From 1-7 newsletter

Dear members,

Our water supply was turned off at 10pm on the 25th April 2008, Saturday. (typo?) When we opened the back door to investigate amd turn it back on, a few plain-clothed officers from the CID rushed in. Sam immediately tried to stop them and demanded to know what was going on. They told him that they were conducting a 'spot-check'. When asked what they were checking for, they simply repeated 'spot-check'. the officers refused to specify what they were checking for despite repeated demands. Sam also asked if they had a warrant toc ehck the premises. Yhey refused to reply.

At this point in time, we turned on all the lights upstairs and downstairs to alert the members that a check was going on. None of the memebers were stopped from dressing or leaving, nor were they searched or any particulars taken.

When a female officer tried to enter, Sam repeatedly shouted that she was not allowed to enter as we are a private men's club and insisted taht she leave. Thereupon, the supervising officer threw sam to the ground and twisted his arms behind hsi back to handcuff him. Because of this, sam sustained cuts to his wrist and bruises on his left rib, for which he was later brought to the Singapore General Hospital for treatment.

The officers only removed several DVDs and Sam was arrested and spent the night in jail. He has been charged with assaulting (pushing) the officer that handcuffed him despite never having laid hands upon him. Sam is 74 years old. The officer was about 40.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will give a free return visit to anyone who was here when the incident occured - just tell the front desk.

We are open for business as usual for our 8TH YEAR from 11:30am to 11:30pm on wekdays and from 11:30am till 7am the followign day on fridays and Saturdays.

Club One Seven.

From Forums

1) Both as an eye witness of some of the events, as well as having snippets of informaton from a broad category of people who claimed to have been present at the scene, this is probably as accurate a sketch of the incident. At about 6 pm, one of the bar counter members thought the water from the taps at the counter was conspicuously drying up precariously towards just a trickle. Alarmed that the rush hour could then precipitate a crisis for water, he then informed Sam concerning the strange occurrence.

Sam then decided that the best temporary measure was to go outside towards the back of the premises at 17, and so opened up the back door. However, before it was completely opened, men in plain clothes, but with tags prominently displayed on their chests which were thrust towards Sam's attention, proclaimed that there was to be a CID raid. Thereupon, these men, about four or six of them, including one woman rushed into the premises.

By then, however, the rather tumultous commotion at the back of the premises at 17 was already heard throughout the whole gay spa. The emergency lights were immediately switched on to "Full"

No one but a complete, and indeed congenital, overweening idiot would have hesistated for two moments subsequently, upon receiving that message; the upshot of that signal was unambiguous as it was immediately obvious that a police raid was upon 17. Seldom was a scene of pandemonium could be re -enacted, as that afternoon at 17 ; a mad scramble by virtually all spa members then ensued in a blitzkreig manner to the extent that fist fights, and assaults occurred at the locker area as members hurriedly gathered thueir belonginings in haste to dress up and make a strategic retreat from the premises of 17

MEANWHILE, the CID raid was already fully in operation. As entry from the back without a warrant seemed improper, Sam resisted their approaches as being wrong. However, the members of the CID appeared not to be out done. In fact, a sort of shuffle then occurred at the back entrance beween Sam and one of the CID officers. As this minor altercation continued apace, police squad cars also arrived on the scene, totally about four of such vehicles, this time in front of the Circular Road entrance.

With such a massive police presence however, the whole building was soon swarming about with the "men in blue" almost universally about the building. As to what was the source or cause for such a sudden and inexplicable gratituous intrusion seems most odd No apparent reason could be vouchsafed except that all that was being required was for the spa members, of those who had been rather inexpediently caught as they were left behind on the premises, despite the other swifter members, who then made a remarkable and convenient dispora from the area of No 17. To those who were present however, photographs as well as their personal confidential particulars were taken down. No sooner than the efficient CID officers were roaming about 17, than that the officers also scooped about looking about the premises, presumably for something that was also amiss.

Reports keep filtering in that Sam's altercation with an officer of the law could have resulted in some form of misdemeanour being committed by Sam It could have been that although he may have been perfectly and unassailably correct in his legal right that the officers did not have a warrant, the encounter with the CID at the back entrance which involved an element of pugilistic demonstration on Sam's part was viewed rather dimly by the CID officers


2)OneSeven, the currently popular (open to discussion) sauna in singapore, was raided by the (vice? CID?) tonite 25apr@2145hrs.

I was one of the patrons who was busy in the cubicle room when the all the lights suddenly turned on. Beginning, there was a slight confusion as to what was happening, but whispers around the crowds was that it is a police raid. guys was all rushing, luckily no stampede in the hallway areas..

naked guys from the darkroom areas (lighted now!), exiting the plastic partition curtains, grabbing their towels from the shower area, going down the stairs in a hurry. mass exodus from 2nd floor to the ground floor.

standing by the door on top of the stairs i can hear the caucasian owner, yelling to the police officer. what is he doing here? checking on wat? no search warrant! you never showed me any warrant!
listening and hearing his shouting, i wish one of his employee would calm him down.

later, me and my friend while waiting at the locker area, watching all the happenings. he (the owner) was still being loud and complaining about the officers. plus they have 2 female police officers in the locker area now. as he was shooing out the female officer, saying this is a men's sauna, women are not allowed. i guess he must had touched/pushed one of the female officer. he was handcuffed then, and sat facing the water fountain.

a japanese guy identity was checked. passport sighted and photocopied also. the police seems to be very much interested in him. i wonder why?

a caucasian tourist was also asked for identification, but he couldn't or wouldn't show any identification. wonder what happened to him too..

eventhough handcuffed, the owner was still making lots of noise shouting. i guess things got a bit hot for the senior officer (i guess so), he instructed his men to have all identities recorded and screened. he also instructed video recording of everything/everyone. due to the owners loud and kwailan attitude.

i thinks there was about 20 of us still in the locker areas, all dressed and waiting to leave.
u should see the mess left behind by all the towels strewn on the floor of the locker areas. plus a few bottles of poppers too....(is poppers really illegal in singapore? anyone care to comment..)

this is my personal view regards to the situation.
first of all, the owners should not be too aggressive to the police.
i know i will get brickbats for this remark but things are kinda handled very differently here.

the police officers actually wasn't harassing us (patrons) in any ways. they were just walking/looking around, searching and not exactly looking at us directly. one of the officers who was holding the video cam, was even pointing the video-cam to the floor when he passed by me on the 2nd floor. in my mind maybe there was a tip-off regards to illegal drugs etc...

to be a very loud westerner, screaming of equal rights and proper official procedures, doesn't apply here. an actual fact is that the police, can enter any premises without any warrant (letter). their warrant card is the warrant letter and it also backs them up legally. if an illegal item is openly displayed/seen, then the officer can action an arrest.
to search any individual lockers or open up any drawers, for items not within view, THEN they would need a search warrant. plus the search warrant would have to be clearly stated as to what is the illegal items they are searching for and to seize.

i understand that the owners is pissed that his weekend business is disrupted and in-order to show his displeasure, he shouts and rants to the officer. but could he had handled it differently?

(i know i was totally pissed too!! i just only got into a cubicle with a cute chub/fleshy guy when the lights came on. if u are reading this, contact me please... hahahaha)

firstly, for his costumers sake, couldn't he had waited until all his customers left the building, before showing his displeasure to the police?
to the hundreds that had left earlier (yup, busy night!), they didn't have to show their identity cards to the police, to be noted and screened.
(perhaps it is worthwhile to be kiasi for a change.) only after he was handcuffed (arrested?), the senior officer got pissed and asked everyone to be recorded and screened.

i do appreciate his show of standing for persons individual rights but that moment it wasn't handled correctly at all. he did shouted to the police if he could call his lawyer, his shouts was ignored. to the police he is being a nuisance so communication lines between the owner and officer is closed. to me, if the owner wants to go by the rules, have his lawyer on speed-dial. once the police wants to enter the premises, let them in. if no warrant of intent is issued, slowly discreetly call the lawyer. get the lawyer there, to attend to the police. but then it is expensive to have a lawyer on retainer. police officers do have knowledge of the law, however, they will not dispute or argue with a court officer.

to the patrons tonite.... what are your views regard to this situations.
feedbacks are appreciated....

There was also apparently an earlier raid at Raw, another sauna:

3) I was at Raw when the 'raid' happened. I wont go as far as to call it a 'raid', more like a look-see look-see. It certainly didnt feel like a raid at all that Friday night at Raw. I was at the TV room engrossed in the programme (I think the telly was showing Crime Watch) when I realised that the area at the back (the barrack area when one have to pay extra for the room) was suddenly very bright. I thought the staff was being hardworking and was probably doing some area cleaning and so paid no heed to it. Soon more people trooped in and I couldnt ignore the urgent whispers and my ear pricked up when I heard the word 'ma tah' or police being tossed around. Apparently they were in the premises conducting some search. We waited for minutes for the police to appear but it seemed they were not the least interested in us all. So I went down to the reception area and saw a couple of male officers and a female officer as well (I later learned that there were two female officers) standing near the entrance looking towards the gym area. My immediate guess is that they were after the DVD guy. I stood there for a while and none of them turned and looked at me at all. I went down to the shower and waited out for a while before I went up again. The sense of unease didnt go away. By then, the officers were all gone and the DVD guy was calmly smoking his cigarette. When I went up to the tv room again I saw Max, the owner, giggling as he related to his 'friends' about the incident. There were few variations to the story. Some said they were after the massage guys after a tip-off. Some just said it's just a routine check. Whatever it is, I was glad I was at Raw that night rather than at the more-happening OS. It was certainly happening at OS but not in a good way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

think this harassment & intimidation is an exercise for their own morale.

"See? Even if we cannot keep Most Wanted limping terrorists in our prisons we can still frighten naked gay guys on private property without search warrants..."