Forty-four men, including a former school principal, were charged in court yesterday with having paid sex with an underage girl. Some of the men tried to hide their faces behind crude disguises as they dodged cameramen waiting outside the courts.
According to news reports, the police busted an online vice ring last year and called up about 60 men to aid in investigations. 44 of these men were charged in in the Subordinate Courts yesterday with having underage sex with the same Singaporean girl.
The accused, aged 21 to 48, include a former police superintendant, military officers, a lawyer, businessmen and people in finance and other professions.
One of these men was 39-year-old Lee Lip Hong, the former principal of Pei Chun Public School, who decided to plead guilty. Lee resigned unexpectedly last December, and faces two charges of having paid sex with the girl in September and December 2010.
Prostitution is allowed here, but having paid sex with a person under 18 is illegal.
The men allegedly had paid sex with the girl between September 2010 and February last year. Four allegedly hired her twice, and businessman Foo Kim Meng, 45, is said to have had paid sex with the girl at least four times.
The mastermind behind the online vice-ring is 39-year-old Tang Boon Thiew, who owns an online marketing firm. Tang, who studied in Britain, is known to have set up six companies since 2004. Tang also apparently worked as an adviser to the chairman at Shell International Petroleum, a sales manager at Motorola, and a general manager at Virgin Mobile.
Tang had a bevy of some 16 high-end social escorts whom he apparently recruited through facebook. The women were said to be models, students and working professionals, and were apparently known to charge their clients almost double the fee of other social escorts.
These women were believed to be marketed through a website displaying their pictures, as well as through word of mouth.
Tang was charged with 34 counts under the Woman's Charter for living off the earnings of a prostitute - an offence that carries a jail term of up to five years, and a fine of up to $10,000.
The Singaporean teenager at the centre of this high-profile online vice-ring case did not appear in court yesterday, but details of her appointments with the men involved were revealed in court.
The girl's services were touted on the website run by mastermind Tang Boon Thiew, and she was described as having C-cup breasts, and charged between $450 to $850 per session. These sessions took place in venues such as Hotel 81 Bencoolen, Marina Bay Sands, M Hotel, Elizabeth Hotel, Strand Hotel and a Cambridge Road flat.
Listed below are the 44 men who were charged in court:
1. Tan Wei Siong, 36
2. Tan Kok Wee, 35
3. Choong Sin Jian,27
4. Tan Wee Kiat (formerly known as Jarrod Song Eu Loong), 39
5. Loh Ben Ni, 32
6. Koh Ching Shyang, 36
7. Lee Lip Hong, 39
8. Kelvin Peck Yong Li, 21
9. Qiu WenBo @ Allan Khoo Wenbo, 27
10. Foo Kim Meng, 45
11. Kenny Sim Choon Wee, 38
12. Desmond Quek Jin Yang, 27
13. Leu Xing-Long, 30
14. Ong Chee Wah, 31
15. Wong Yih Yong, 40
16. Chiang Meng Chuan, 31
17. Frederick Chen Kwek Kwong, 45
18. Low Teow Guan, 38
19. Danny Wang Ting Wei, 26
20. Lee Tian Song, 33
21. Timothy Gan Wee Jin, 37
22. Pyi Kyaw Han, 31
23. Chia Kok Peng, 38
24. Lim Kok Tong, 39
25. Lee Vin Sen, 35
26. Lee Ching Hsuin, 36
27. Fong Kok Liang, 41
28. Chan Wei Kiat, 27
29. Louis Lee Lip Kian, 33
30. Koh Zi Yang, 29
31. Wilson Oei, 25
32. Yap Eng Kian, 39
33. Calvin Yew Boon Liat, 34
34. Goh Wee Seong, 34
35. Teoh Nai Jin, 36
36. Sng Kok Wee, 30
37. Choo Yao Chuen, 36
38. Ng Guan Mean, 37
39. Kwa Wee Nam, 32
40. Nguyen Van On, 48
41. Reyner Desvando Suhartono, 28
42. Raziuddin Mohamed Naseem, 27
43. Emlyn Thomas Thariyan, 35
44. Atet Kardjono Sianandar, 39
Photos: ST, TNP, Lianhe Zaobao.