Expats, don't play or you'll pay

Below is a news article about expats in Singapore.  Do not be surprised that this could happen in other countries too.  So guys, its safer to be sober and keep your hands to yourself.  In this world, nothing is FREE.

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.

Urgency to settle cases

"Some of them have to travel frequently for work and may not want their cases to drag or their passports to be taken away. They do have a great urgency to settle the cases."

There were 96 cases of outrage of modesty reported in nightspots islandwide last year, and 108 cases the year before.

Last year, Mr Chia handled three such cases involving foreigners. Police reports were made in all three cases.

Two of the three clients hold high positions in MNCs here.

One paid $5,000 to the alleged victim. Another refused to pay and was prepared to go to trial. The case was later dropped.

The third client, who is a foreign student, paid $8,000 for the case to be compounded.

Mr Chia said: "All three cases are fairly similar. They took place on the dance floor. There was no befriending prior to the allegations. It was very straightforward - 'I was on the dancefloor and he molested me'.

"These women would come forward and say that they can tell the difference between an accidental touch and molest.

"If they claim trial and the men go to court and tell the judge that they were too drunk to remember what happened, the women's side of the story would be unchallenged.

"Unless (the women) are caught telling lies on the witness stand, the judge would have little choice but to accept their side of the story."

Mr Chia added: "In the worst-case scenario of an aggravated form of molest involving the breasts and private parts, one can be caned and jailed."

Lawyer Steven Lam of JTJB LLP does not think there is an organised scam going on, but warns men to be extra careful when they drink.

One of the cases he handled last year involved a high-profile foreign businessman who got drunk in a club on Orchard Road and was later accused of molesting a woman.

Mr Lam said: "My client was very drunk and could not remember much of what happened. His associates who were with him told me that a group of young men and girls had joined them at their table.

"The girls got close to him and he started touching them.

"At about 2am, he went to the toilet and when he returned to his table, the group of young men confronted him for molesting one of the girls. The police were called and I was called.

"One of the guys later called him and proposed to settle the case for $10,000. The matter was compounded with him paying them $10,000 and buying alcohol for the whole group."

Could not recall molest

In the cases that Mr Singh has handled, his foreign clients, too, could not recall molesting anyone.

Mr Singh said: "In one case, my client had already left the club and he was queuing up for food at a fast food joint when a woman, accompanied by policemen, confronted him.

"The woman claimed he had molested her in the club earlier.

"My client could not recall, but compensated the woman about $4,000 to have the case compounded."

Mr Singh added: "We cannot be sure about such cases. Maybe these expats tend to take greater liberties as they are in a club and they might have been misinformed or have a misconception about women here as compared to those back home.

"Maybe the women are really victims."

Nevertheless, Mr Chia warns men to be wary whenever women approach them in a pub or club.

"Don't go alone. Make sure that there is at least someone sober to be a witness. In all my three cases, all were very drunk and no one could come forward to tell me what really happened."

Partygoer: Don't get drunk, keep hands to yourself

HE HAD downed an array of shots and about a dozen pints of beer before he got on the dance floor.

The club was packed with men and women rubbing their bodies against one another as they swayed to the music.

The next thing he knew, he was led out of the club by two bouncers, followed by a group of young men and women.

The men hurled verbal abuses at the expat, claiming that he had molested one of the women.

"I couldn't remember anything at all," said the 35-year-old Canadian, who wanted to be known only as Michael.

"They were threatening to call the police. I told them I didn't want any trouble, and one of the them asked the girl if she would accept monetary compensation.

"I paid them $3,000."

The incident took place last April and Michael hasn't returned to the club since.

Now, Michael, who has been here for over a year and works as a senior manager in a bank, frequents smaller clubs and pubs.

The bachelor claimed that most men wouldn't think twice about coming on to women who get close to them in a club.

But he is now more careful with women he meets in nightspots.

"I heard how the law is very strict here. So I don't want to get into any trouble."

For a woman to scream molest, she does not need many witnesses, said a bouncer who wanted to be known only as Yusz.

Yusz, 33, who used to head the security unit of a chain of 14 clubs here, said: "The dance floor is too packed, and even if we play back the CCTV footage, we may not be able to see much on camera.

Yusz said he used to get about five or six cases of molest reported from the 14 clubs every month.

Mr Dennis Foo, chief executive officer of St James Holdings, said: "Today's women...know their rights and the law. Even though they may seem very liberal on the dance floor, that doesn't mean that men can take advantage of them easily."

Miss Deborah Dayani feels that some expats may be misinformed of the values of local women by a few of the more liberal women they have met on the dance floor.

The 25-year-old public relations consultant parties twice a month and goes out for drinks at least once a week.

Wrong impression

She said: "I've seen how some local women literally dirty-dance with the ang mohs (referring to Caucasians). Once, I saw a woman exposing her underwear to one ang moh on the dance floor.

"After that ang moh left the dance floor, another one came and took over the dance with her. She probably gave those men a wrong impression of local women. So they think that girls in clubs are easy and they can touch them.

"But if you don't want to be accused of molest, don't get drunk. And keep your hands to yourself."

But a French national, who wanted to be known only as Benoit, 29, feels that women are getting more aggressive on the dance floor.

The bank manager, who has been working in Singapore for five years, said: "It is inevitable that there will be a lot of body contact when you dance.

"But...if a woman screams molest, it is your word against hers...

"I can understand why, as foreigners, we don't want to go on trial. It's easier to just settle the matter with money."

Touch and pay may seem to be the easiest way to avoid getting a criminal record, but Mr Paulo Filvino Assis Brito, 27, prefers relying on the law.

The Portugal national who has been working here as an IT analyst in a French bank for three years, said: "It's normal to be rubbing against one another on the dance floor.

"If a woman is sticking so closely to me and I touch her butt, that is normal.

"If she wants to make a police report, I would tell her to go ahead."

could you please post a link to the source ?

Here is the link of the news article
http://www.asiaone.com/News/The%2BNew%2 … 64508.html

That is mostly for the people who cant handle drinking really.

And remember, if you dont want to have a massive hangover in the morning, eat lots of fruit while drinking. :)