Singapore pilot 31st man jailed online vice ring case: On Friday a commercial pilot became the 31st man jailed in an ongoing online vice ring case involving an underage escort, according to reports.
The pilot, 33-year-old Joseph Ong Chee Wah, was jailed for 12 weeks for having paid sex with the 17-year-old girl.
Mr. Ong is one of 51 men who have been charged in the online vice ring case – all involving the same girl.
The court heard that Mr. Ong booked the girl’s services through her pimp, Tang Boon Thiew, after coming across a website sometime in early 2011 that offered the sexual services of escorts.
The website presented the girl as a 18-year-old polytechnics student.
Mr. Ong met the girl on January 23, 2011 at the Strand Hotel in Bencoolen Street, and paid her an amount of S$630 for her sexual services, according to reports.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy asked for a 12-week sentence, pointing out that Mr. Ong did not take steps to verify the girl’s age when they met.
She also argued that since it was not Mr. Ong’s first time to engage in paid sex with an escort, he should have more careful about verifying the girl’s age.
Ho Lifen, Mr. Ong’s defence councel, responded by saying her client did not feel he had the authority to ask the girl for identification to verify her age, and he also thought the website looked professional and did not expect it to be offering the services of underage girls.
Her client was remorseful about what he had done, Ms. Ho added.
Mr. Ong could have been jailed for a maximum of seven years and fined for having paid sex with an underage girl.
Though prostitution is legal under Singaporean law, various activities related to prostitution are not.
It is also a criminal offence to obtain the sexual services of a person under the age of 18.