Singaporean Patricia Khor Ling Ling, 30, was arrested in Manila for allegedly recruiting Filipinas illegally to work in her Singapore nightspots.
This happened when she was about to board a Singapore-bound flight with another woman, a Singapore permanent resident, at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.
With them were three Filipinas, Cherry Yangkie Balazar, 27, Cherry Joyce Galon Garcia, 23 and Edgeleen Arceo Ponce, 25.
Khor is said to have recruited them in the Philippines to work in Singapore.
The women had allegedly been promised jobs as beauticians or clerks, reported Philippine news agency ABS-CBN News.
The Philippine authorities are accusing her of trying to take the women to Singapore to work in nightclubs.
Mr Noli de Castro, chairman of the Philippines Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment, said in a statement that she was allegedly taking the three local women to Singapore as tourists.
This was to legalise their exit from the country before allegedly providing them with jobs.
However, the Philippine authorities doubted her ability to provide jobs for the women and arrested her.
Colonel Gilberto Sosa, head of the Philippines Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Anti-Transnational Crime Division, said in a statement that she would be charged with violating the Overseas Workers and Migrants Act.
Khor works as a floor manager in several nightclubs here.
Some, like Sexy Bar and Club Jaguar in the Tanjong Pagar area, are registered under her name, checks with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Body showed.
A regular Sexy Bar patron, who declined to be named, said he had seen Khor on a number of occasions at some of the Tanjong Pagar nightclubs.
She has been spotted at a nearby Filipino restaurant.
The man said he had also seen Filipinas working at these nightclubs.
"They make money by getting the customers to buy drinks," he said.
Occasionally, they would sit down and chat with patrons.
"They all look quite young - most look like they are in their 20s," he said.
When The New Paper visited Khor's flat in Sengkang yesterday, her mother said the family was taken aback by the news of her arrest.
She added that her son-in-law had flown to Manila soon after receiving the news.
"I'm not sure why she was arrested there. Before she left, she told me that she was going there for business," the mother, who did not want to be named,said in Mandarin.
She has not spoken to her daughter since her arrest.
"Her husband will help her and keep us updated. Now, we are helping her to take care of her 8-year-old daughter."
Family concerned Khor's father was upset.
He said that she was only a manager at the nightspots.
"My daughter is innocent," he said, adding that he did not want to comment further as he was not sure what exactly had happened.
The parents said the husband is also in the nightspot business.
Khor is the second Singaporean to have got into trouble recently with the Philippine authorities over alleged human trafficking.
On Monday, Madam Irene Low Ai Lian, 50, was arrested for her alleged involvement in a baby trafficking case.
This article was first published in The New Paper on Dec 19, 2008.