Singapore: Twin brothers from India have been sentenced for three and half months for managing a brothel and helping their accomplices live on the earnings of six prostitutes.

Raman and Lakashmanan Selvaraj, 26, were shocked on being jailed yesterday for they had expected a fine after pleading guilty on June 3, reported a daily. Lakashmanan arrived in Singapore last October and met Balamurugan Selvam Paneer who ran a vice business which exploited women from India. He soon started buying meals for the prostitutes and collecting their earnings, the report said.

These were handed to Balamurugam, 32, who would deduct expenses and remit the rest to the syndicate boss in India. The twins and three other accomplices were arrested on December 17 in a surprise police raid. Investigations revealed that they had been managing six prostitutes who earned around Rs 30,000 for two months of work.

Defense counsel S K Kumar pleaded for leniency and a fine, on the ground that the twins' parents had sold their land so as to raise money to bring their sons home. "The family is very poor and the parents are now living in makeshift accommodation by the roadside," said the lawyer.

But District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim sentenced the twins, pointing out that two other syndicate members were jailed for 3 years and 6 months on similar charges in February. Balamurugam was jailed for five months in February. The penalty of abetting someone to live on the earnings of prostitution is a fine of up to SGD10,000, a jail term of up to five years, or both. For running a brothel, they could have been fined up to SGD3,500, jailed for up to three years, or both.

(Agencies)

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