An insurance agent who suggested to an undercover cop that they visit Cambodia to try and have sex with girls as young as six yesterday became the first man to be convicted of organising a commercial sex tour overseas.
Chan Chun Hong, who faced a total of 145 charges, was investigated by the authorities here after they received a tip-off from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January 2013 that a Singaporean man had been circulating child pornography online.
The 31-year-old, who was nabbed at Changi Airport on March 1 last year, is also the first person to be convicted of distributing information intended to promote paid sex with a minor outside Singapore.
From November 2013, police used the moniker "Teo Dennis" to pose as a fellow sex tourist to keep track of Chan. Teo sought Chan's help to "find young girls" in Vietnam but Chan proposed going to Cambodia to "try" girls who were as young as six.
In one of his e-mail messages to Teo, Chan wrote: "I find 12 to 14 year olds the best as they are freshest and is becoming a grown up girl soon. Innocent too. :) and very curious about sex."
Chan even bought tickets for Teo and himself to travel to Cambodia in April but he was arrested before that.
Information also revealed that e-mail exchanges between the Singaporean and other users suggested that Chan had taken part in child sex tourism in countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.
He pleaded guilty to 12 charges - seven of transmitting obscene materials by electronic means, one of making travel plans for commercial sex for the decoy cop, three of distributing information to promote conduct of commercial sex, and one of having obscene films.
Chan, a diagnosed paedophile also known as Chris, originally claimed to be doing research online on child sex crimes and abuse.
Subsequently, he became addicted to child pornography and started to search for it on the Internet.
In 2011, he registered a new e-mail address to transmit and receive child pornography with other users. It included obscene photographs and videos of girls as young as two in various sex acts or poses.
The court heard that in early 2013, he travelled to Cebu in the Philippines to meet one Mike Timothy, whom he had been communicating with about child sex tourism in Asian countries.
Chan revealed that the youngest girl he had sex with was a 15-year-old in Phnom Penh, and he wanted to find even younger girls in Cambodia.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang, pressing for a total sentence of at least six years, cited the voluminous amount of obscene material Chan had distributed, adding that it was the "most egregious and abhorrent" category of child pornography.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam will hear counsel Rajan Nair's mitigation on Feb 16.
This article was first published on February 07, 2015.
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