Teen girl's pimp sentenced to six years in jail

A pimp from China who controlled a commercial sex ring here involving a 17-year-old girl was sentenced to six years' imprisonment on Thursday.

In sentencing 37-year-old Tang Huisheng, Community Court Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said there was strong public interest to deter like-minded people like Tang from using Singapore as a destination for human sex trafficking.

Tang had pleaded guilty to four charges - bringing the minor, also from China, to Singapore for prostitution; living on her immoral earnings; harbouring her; and abetting a customer to have commercial sex with her.

Describing Tang's offences as abhorrent and repulsive, Judge Shaiffudin said: "He had corrupted, coerced and victimised the minor."

As Tang was led away by auxiliary policemen after the case ended, he shouted in Mandarin: "This, to me, is very unfair."

The girl's heartrending story which began in her hometown in Shandong, China, was highlighted in court last month when her customers were convicted of engaging in paid sex with her.

So far, 24 men have been charged for the offence and 17 of them have been jailed between 10 and 12 weeks.

Two more have been convicted but have not been sentenced.

Acting as her pimp, Tang had travelled with her to Singapore with the intention of selling the prostitution services of the minor.

The judge said Tang "subjected the minor to extreme physical, mental and sexual abuses and threats while in China", and was "her constant watchdog" when the minor was in Singapore to ensure her total obedience.

In total, the minor was made to serve 150 clients in 15 days.

When she was arrested, Tang immediately gambled away almost all her earnings of about $9,000 at the Marina Bay Sands casino.

In an attempt to evade arrest, he brought forward his flight home, but was arrested.

Judge Shaiffudin said Tang's planning reflected his "staggering degree of exploitation and audacity in thinking".

Earlier, the judge had accepted the version of events described in two paragraphs of the statement of facts after a special hearing.

Tang had denied drugging and forcing the minor into prostitution while in Zhuhai, China.

The judge found the minor, who had testified behind closed doors, to be a credible witness, saying that her own account of her ordeal was "cogent and concise".

In contrast, the judge slammed Tang's performance in the hearing as he was evasive and kept changing his story.

He also rejected Tang's assertion that he and the minor were lovers before the offences were committed.

Tang could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined for abetting in commercial sex.

For each of the other offences, Tang could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $10,000

elena@sph.com.sg


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