Elena Chong – Straits Times
Singapore. Nine men aged between 24 and 68 were hauled to court yesterday to face charges of commercial sex with underage girls.
They each face between one and three charges of paying $100 to $200 for the sexual services of Vietnamese prostitutes, who were below 18 years of age, between March and July last year.
Anyone convicted of having commercial sex with a person under 18 can be jailed for up to seven years, fined, or both. The law took effect in February 2008.
Two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old were involved. They cannot be named due to a gag order.
Chan See Sean, 40, unemployed, was charged with three counts — twice for paying $120 to a 16-year-old girl and once to a 17-year-old for their services in July last year.
Chong Heng Kow, 53, allegedly conspired with Seng Swee Meng, 42, and his Vietnamese wife, Ngo Tien, 31, to pay $100 for the younger girl’s services at Fragrance Ruby Hotel in Geylang on July 3.
He is also accused of having paid sex with the girl at Four Chain View Hotel in Geylang Road 12 days later.
Justin Guo Zhijia, 24, a student, was charged with having paid $100 twice to have sex with the girl at a house in Yio Chu Kang last July.
Wee Lian Kee, 54, is alleged to have paid $180 to have sex with the girl at Hup Hoe Hotel in Geylang Road on July 7.
Loh Kian Ann, 55, allegedly paid $120 on each of two occasions for sex with the second 17-year-old girl at Four Chain View Hotel last July.
In the same month, Yee Yew Seng, 45, allegedly paid $200 and $170 for sex with the same girl at Hotel 12 in Geylang.
Tan Wah Eng, 60, allegedly conspired with Seng and his wife to have paid sex with the girl at Four Chain View Hotel on June 19.
Loy Hee Cheng, 68, faces a single charge of scheming with the couple in March last year to have commercial sex with the 17-year-old whom Chan had sex with.
Seah Seng Kok, 59, was charged with paying the same girl $120 for her services at Four Chain View Hotel on July 21.
Seng, a pimp, has since pleaded guilty to 15 of 51 charges but has yet to be sentenced. The case will be mentioned again on April 11.
He received the Vietnamese prostitutes at the airport, harbored them, lived on their immoral earnings, managed a contact point for prostitutes and abetted in commercial sex by instigating Chong and Tan to have sex with two of the girls. His wife, who is at large, is said to have been involved with him in the offences.
Acting on a tip-off, police raided a flat in Lorong 22, Geylang, and arrested 30 Vietnamese women for offenses under the Women’s Charter last Aug 2. They also seized $44,310 and $300, among other things.
The couple recruited the women through agents or their friends in Vietnam to work for them as hostesses and prostitutes in Singapore.
The nine men’s cases were adjourned. All except Seah, Tan and Chong were represented, and their police bails were extended.
Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times