Tue, Feb 22, 2011
The New Paper
Expats, don't play or you'll pay

By Joyce Lim

FOR a growing number of expatriates who hit dance clubs here to meet women, a game of touch and play is fast becoming a nightmare of touch and pay.

Lawyers The New Paper on Sunday spoke to say they have spotted similarities in a series of outrage of modesty cases they have handled in the past year.

The story is always the same - Mr Expat goes clubbing, gets drunk and accepts the advances of women who snuggle up to them on the dance floor.

A while later, a group of men confront Mr Expat, accusing him of molest.

And because he is too drunk to remember what happened, he chooses to pay off the woman rather than appear in court to fight the charges.

Such cases usually involve foreigners who hold high positions in multinational companies (MNCs).

In most cases, the expats would agree to compensate the women to compound their cases.

Under the law, certain criminal offences such as simple molestation cases can be settled out of court if the victim agrees to drop the matter in return for some form of compensation.

An offender who has had his offence compounded will not have a criminal record.

Lawyers have become concerned that some clubgoers see this as a quick way to make money.

Lawyer Chia Boon Teck, a partner at Chia Wong LLP, said: "By targeting expats, the chances of getting money from them are high as they can't afford to get into trouble with the law.

"Sometimes, they would even be willing to pay on the spot."

Lawyer Amolat Singh is unsure if there is a trend of women trying to make a quick buck out of expats here, but he has been getting more expats seeking his help over such accusations.

"Expats tend to be more vulnerable," said the lawyer from Amolat and Partners.

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