Vanessa Ho, a coordinator with Project X shared that a Singaporean male cheated three local sex workers by paying them with fake currency last Friday.
She wrote that $25 was cheated out of one worker, while the other two were cheated of $50 each. One worker even gave the man $20 change in real cash.
As the transaction was conducted in a dimly lit area, the sex workers were unable to tell that the note was a fake currency.
The workers were able to identify the man in a red shirt on Friday as the same person who paid them with a fake $50 note.
One of the workers identified him as one of her regular customers. According to her, the man is a Singaporean Chinese, who is around 20 years old odd, and works as a chef.
The sex worker said that this man had been using real currency to pay for the sex worker’s services in his previous transactions.
The fake notes are printed on thick glossy paper, with no transparent part on the note and have its back image misaligned
While the sex workers can report their case to the police, none of the workers was willing to make a police report as they are afraid that they would be questioned and arrested for soliciting instead.
The production and use of fake currency are chargeable offenses under 489A and 489B of the penal code. Both offenses bear a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and be liable to fine.
While if one is guilty of soliciting, the person will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, the person will be subjected to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
“There is a fear among the sex worker community that if they report crimes against them that they would be arrested instead. This fear is not unfounded as a few police officers have made such threats to sex workers before. This means that perpetrators of all sorts of crimes get off with impunity, and impunity emboldens. I just hope the police will reconsider their protocols towards sex workers to ensure a safe society for us all.” said Ms Ho in response to the situation faced by the sex workers.