SINGAPORE: The pimp for an underage girl at the centre of an online vice ring, Tang Boon Thiew, has been sentenced to four years and 10 months in jail and fined S$90,000.
Tang, 39, appealed against the sentence immediately after he was sentenced on Friday afternoon.
He had pleaded guilty to 20 charges, which included living in part on the earnings of prostitutes and abetting men in obtaining the sexual services of the girl, who was then 17 years old.
Eighty—two other charges were taken into consideration.
Senior District Judge See Kee Oon said Tang had no mitigating factors, other than his plea of guilt. He said Tang had no qualms manipulating and deceiving potential clients and went to great lengths to ensure that the clients of the underage girl won’t know what her real age was.
Tang is out on bail of S$160,000, which is double the previous amount.
Tang ran a social escort agency where some of the women, including the 17—year—old girl, provided sexual services to the clients.
He pocketed 50 per cent of their earnings.
Between September 2010 and November 2011, he secured nearly 700 bookings for 17 escorts.
During that period, he earned more than S$185,700 from them.
From the 17—year—old girl alone, Tang received about S$21,700 of her earnings.
He obtained the underage girl’s mobile phone number from her previous modelling agency and asked if she wanted to "earn good money".
Tang said he did not know her actual age initially. The court heard he had assumed she was already 18, as she had allegedly told him she was a polytechnic student.
But this claim was rejected by the judge, who said Tang actually knew the girl’s true age by 30 September 2010, which was a week after she started working for him.
He reportedly told her not to disclose to clients that she was 17 years old.
The judge also chided Tang for living off her earnings for four—and—a—half months.
He added Tang was far more culpable than any of the men who had engaged the girl’s services.
The court had also heard that Tang moved from being the Southeast Asia head of the marketing team in Internet giant Yahoo! to becoming an online pimp.
His clients included the 51 men who were charged with paying the underage girl for sex.
Tang’s lawyer, Shashi Nathan said: "My client is obviously disappointed, but we have to accept the court’s judgement. We have filed an appeal this afternoon and we have just raised bail of S$160,000. So now it’s time to sit back and look at the judgement carefully. To a large extent, he is genuinely remorseful and he wants to serve his sentence. But obviously he is surprised that his sentence is so high."
Sixteen of them have been dealt with, including former Pei Chun Public School principal Lee Lip Hong and green activist Howard Shaw.
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