A judge has raised concerns about a local sex forum and its increasing popularity, noting that a lot of activities on it involved "young, vulnerable people".
"The site seems to be flourishing," Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said while sentencing Foo Suan Wee to 10 weeks' imprisonment for living off the earnings of prostitutes.
Foo, 41, had helped prostitutes advertise their services on the site for a small fee.
Three similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The IT graduate and married father of one had been providing freelance Internet-based services for many years.
In September 2013, he decided to extend his services to sex workers after a prostitute he regularly visited told him that business was bad.
She had asked if he could help her market her services online, the court heard. Foo agreed.
The listing was a success and Foo was referred to other prostitutes so he could help them do the same on a number of websites.
Other prostitutes who wanted help with their advertisements would communicate with him via the WeChat message app, where they sent him pictures, details of their services and other information they wanted on the sites.
If the pictures were not good enough, Foo would even take pictures of the women.
The court heard that he charged a one-time fee of between $200 and $300. Those who wanted to continue their listings would pay monthly fees of between $200 to $300. Foo would meet them in person to collect payment in cash before he put up the listing.
The listings were so successful that his reputation grew.
During the 15 months he was in business, he made about $6,000 a month marketing between 30 and 40 prostitutes.
His activities came to light when he was arrested on Dec 14 last year after police raided his Rangoon Road home.
In mitigation, Foo's lawyer, Mr Louis Joseph, said his client had been suffering from depression because he had been unable to secure full-time employment.
His eight-year-old son also suffers from global developmental delay.
During sentencing, Judge Joseph said it was worrying that a case involving the local website was being heard before him again, calling it a dangerous place where young people were getting sucked into.
He said that it was disturbing to hear of such a website that not only hosted upskirt videos, but had listings of sexual services.
Last Thursday, Judge Joseph jailed for 12 weeks Lee Yi Jie, 21, and Patrick Sim Yuan Xing, 20, for taking upskirt pictures and videos of girls and uploading them onto the site for "reputation points".
Judge Joseph also asked the prosecutor to check if any action was being taken against the website. The prosecutor said he would pass on the feedback to enforcement agencies.
This article was first published on July 11, 2015.
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