Businessman the 34th to be jailed so far

Businessman the 34th to be jailed so far

SINGAPORE - A businessman who paid the highest sum of $850 for the sexual services of a 17-year-old escort in a high-profile online vice ring case was jailed for 12 weeks on Monday.

Nguyen Van On, 50, is the 34th man to be convicted and jailed to date. He was among 51 men who were hauled to court in 2012 to face charges of commercial sex with the underage escort, who was below 18.

The father of one pleaded guilty to paying the girl $850 for her sexual services at Hotel 81 in Bencoolen Street on Oct 6, 2010.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz said the escort's pimp, Tang Boon Thiew, 40, began operating the online vice ring in 2010. The 17-year-old started working for him in September that year.

Tang's escorts were advertised on a website and customers who wished to engage the services of any of them would contact Tang via a cellphone number listed.

Investigations showed that Nguyen had chanced upon the website while surfing the Sammyboy forum in October 2010.

After seeing the minor's details - she was described as an 18-year-old polytechnic student - he sent Tang a text message to "book" her.

Tang told him that the sexual services would take place at Hotel 81 in Bencoolen Street.

After Nguyen had booked a room, he told Tang the room number and the information was then relayed to the minor.

Before sex, Nguyen did not verify the minor's age.

Two weeks ago, Choo Yao Chuen, 36, was jailed 12 weeks for paying $450 for the minor's services at the same hotel on Oct 1. The maximum penalty is seven years' jail and a fine.

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