Chinese men charged in Singapore teen prostitute case
A row of pubs and bars along Tanjong Pagar in Singapore. Prostitution is legal but pimping and public solicitation are not in the island-state. Five Chinese nationals have been charged following Singapore's latest crackdown on underage prostitution.
The men, aged between 35 and 42, allegedly paid the 17-year-old girl Sg$60 ($47) each for sexual services in May.
Fourteen Singaporean men, including two septuagenarians, were charged in court on Wednesday for procuring the services of the same girl, whose identity and nationality cannot be disclosed.
While prostitution is legal in Singapore, paying for sex with a girl under the age of 18 is a crime punishable by up to seven years in jail, a fine, or both.
The case comes on the back of several sex scandals in the city-state known in the past for its squeaky-clean image.
Last year, 51 local and foreign men including a Swiss ex-banker were charged with having sex with a 17-year-old call girl in 2010 and 2011. Most have served jail terms.
Singapore has long been perceived as a conservative, even prudish, society but it has a thriving sex industry dating back to its beginnings as a key trading port of the British empire.
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