Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 03/21/2013 06:19 | By Channel NewsAsia

Girl at centre of online vice ring case testifies in court

Girl at centre of online vice ring case testifies in court


Girl at centre of online vice ring case testifies in court

SINGAPORE: The 20—year—old girl at the centre of the high—profile online vice ring case testified for the first time on Wednesday at the trial of Swiss national Juerg Buergin.

In a private court session, she claimed that she recognised 41—year—old Buergin out of the 80 clients she provided sexual services to.

For three hours, the courtroom windows remained sealed up with white paper while a security guard prevented curious members of the public from entering the courtroom as the girl gave evidence that she had paid sex with Buergin on 29 September 2010 and 3 January 2011.

The prosecution told an open court later that the girl recognised Buergin as he "was white", and that she had sex with fewer than "three white guys".

The girl also remembered having to change condom while having sex with Buergin on 3 January 2011. She was using a particular brand of condom and she felt uncomfortable.

She also testified that she had sex with him at luxury hotels whereas other clients brought her to budget hotels.

The court also heard that Buergin would pay her upfront which she said was a "rare thing".

In addition, he would pass her the money in a hotel envelope which was another distinguishing trait.

The court also heard that the girl was among 10 other escorts that Buergin had met through the same website.

Whenever the escorts that Buergin requested were unavailable, their pimp Tang Boon Thiew would recommend another woman.

This arrangement was revealed during the second day of the trial of the former executive director of UBS Investment Bank.

Buergin’s lawyer, Mr Selva K Naidu, read out a string of text messages between his client and Tang from September 2010 to November 2011.

Throughout their exchanges, Buergin used the name "Robert James".

Between September 2010 and November 2011, Buergin met them at hotels, including the Marina Mandarin Hotel, Grand Hyatt Hotel and St Regis Hotel.

The trial will resume on March 25 with Buergin taking the stand.

The father—of—two is the first of 51 men accused of paying the same girl for sex to fight the charges.

— CNA/fa

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