Webmaster of 2 vice sites jailed 18 weeks

Webmaster of 2 vice sites jailed 18 weeks
PHOTO: NP

Dissatisfied with his income, a former hawker stall assistant decided to earn more money - by becoming an online pimp.

That was how Chen Guoguang came to be the webmaster of two popular sites advertising the sexual services of Chinese women.

At its height last November, his first website featured the profiles of more than 100 women and, in a year, he had raked in nearly $135,000.

Chen, 30, was arrested in a police raid on his York Hill flat in March. He was charged with living off the earnings of nine prostitutes and sentenced yesterday to 18 weeks in jail.

Enticed by what he thought was an "easy business", Chen started the first website, Yuan Zai Shi Cheng, in March last year.

To procure clients, he poached prostitutes from other websites by obtaining their contact details.

As time went by, Chen's website became popular, and he raised the price of advertising from a $10 commission per customer to a flat monthly rate of $400. Business was so good that he hired two assistants to help him procure business and collect payments.

In February this year, Chen decided the first website was too high-profile and set up a second one to stay off the police radar.

He transferred some of the women's profiles over slowly so as not to arouse suspicion that the sites were owned by the same person. Before his arrest, he was looking to expand his services.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Delicia Tan said the accused had "clearly benefited from this lucrative business, and it does not appear he would have stopped if he had not been arrested".

In mitigation, Chen said he was from a low-income family and it was his first offence.

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