Online vice ring: 35th man jailed

A 28-year-old man was jailed for nine weeks yesterday for having commercial sex with a minor.

Desmond Quek Jin Yang is the 35th man to be convicted and jailed in a high-profile online vice ring case. He was one of 51 men taken to court in 2012 to face charges of commercial sex with the underage escort, who was below the age of 18.

Quek, who was a director of a fashion company, had come across pimp Tang Boon Thiew's website offering escort services.

He contacted Tang through the mobile phone number listed on the website and arranged a meeting with the 17-year-old girl at Hotel 81 in Bencoolen Street on Oct 29, 2010.

Quek had sex with her in a room at the hotel some time between 5.10pm and 6.42pm that day, and paid her $500. He did not verify the girl's age, which was advertised as 18 on the website, before they had sex.

Quek is the latest to be sentenced in the underage prostitute scandal.

Last month, 50-year-old businessman Nguyen Van On was jailed for 12 weeks. He paid the highest sum of $850 for the girl's sexual services. A fortnight before that, Choo Yao Chuen, 36, was also jailed 12 weeks for paying $450 for sex with the minor.

Since 2008, it has been illegal to have paid sex with a girl below the age of 18. The maximum penalty is seven years' imprisonment and a fine.


This article was published on April 9 in The Straits Times.

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