Couple jailed and fined for vice website

Married couple jailed, fined total of $140k

A married couple who made more than $600,000 from a website where vice operators advertised sexual services were given jail sentences and fined a total of $140,000 yesterday.

Liu Chin Guan, 36, was sentenced to 21 months in jail and got a $100,000 fine, while his wife, Angela Lim Xiu Yan, 32, got eight months in jail and a $40,000 fine.

Liu had admitted to 10 of 21 charges of abetment by intentionally aiding in living on 10 prostitutes' earnings between 2014 and 2016. Lim had pleaded guilty to four of 21 similar charges last November.

The court heard that in 2011, Liu's uncle, Sonny Liu, engaged a web designer to set up a website to help vice syndicates advertise their sexual services.

Liu was asked to be a partner. When his uncle later went missing, he became the only manager and operator of the website,

He advertised the website on popular vice forums. Over time, more operators began advertising their prostitutes on the website. They were charged $300 a month, paid into a DBS Bank account.

An account and profile would be created for vice operators to upload banners, photographs and information such as the rates and profiles of the sex workers.

Lim helped to withdraw money from the DBS Bank account from the ATM, liaise with vice operators and upload banners. Liu offered $1,000 to a Thai national to open the account for him to hide his identity.

A total of $646,737 - proceeds of the website business - was deposited and withdrawn from the account. The couple spent it on living expenses and a Volkswagen Golf. When police arrested the couple in May 2016, 17 vice operators were using the site.

Follow-up investigations resulted in the arrests of two 34-year-olds known as Platinum and Premium Club. Twenty Singaporean women aged 20 to 43 worked and gave part of their earnings to them.