NSW Police have shut down a Sydney brothel and issued $12,500 in fines after the business allegedly opened its doors to customers during lockdown and after curfew.
Police allege the owner, two customers, and three employees were found without face masks inside the Rydalmere brothel at 10.15pm on Monday after a tip-off through Crime Stoppers.
Rydalmere is in the Parramatta local government area in Sydney’s west, an LGA of concern and under the strictest lockdown rules in NSW, including a 9pm-5am curfew.
“All parties initially denied the business was operating – one man stating he was quoting for painting works, and the other visiting his girlfriend,” according to a NSW Police statement.
But police “soon confirmed the business had been operating”. They sent everyone home with infringement notices for breaches of mask mandates and the curfew.
One woman will face court Tuesday after police allegedly found her trying to return to the brothel shortly after being fined and sent home.
The brothel owner, aged in her 50s, was fined $5000 for failing to comply with a direction to close a non-essential business.
The two male patrons, also in their 50s, and two workers – aged in their 50s and 30s – were fined for breaching curfew.
The other employee, who is in her 30s, lives at the property.
All six were fined $500 for not wearing a mask indoors.
In other COVID breaches reported on Tuesday, NSW Police fined five COVID-positive men $5000 each after officers found them unmasked and mingling outside in Sydney’s south-west.
Officers were patrolling Leppington on Monday morning when they saw the men sitting at a table on the footpath.
“None of the men were wearing face masks,” NSW Police said in a statement.
“Officers stopped and spoke to the men, who revealed they had tested positive to COVID-19 in rural NSW and had been ordered to self-isolate for 14 days after being escorted back to Sydney last Monday.”
The men – aged 23, 25, 26, 31 and 32 – were each fined $5000 for breaching COVID-19 health orders and escorted back to their homes to continue their mandatory isolation.
Police are appealing to Sydneysiders to continue to report suspected breaches of public health orders by calling Crime Stoppers.