Man who 'tried out' underage prostitutes jailed seven years
Vice ring pimp jailed 7 years, fined $130,000
He hired underage girls as prostitutes, and tried them out.
Chew Tiong Wei, the former owner of a now-defunct social escort agency, earned over $1 million from at least 19 prostitutes from 2007 until last year.
Yesterday, Chew, 38, was jailed seven years and one month and fined $130,000 for 25 criminal charges, which included living off the immoral earnings of prostitutes, having sex with a minor, having commercial sex with underage prostitutes and making obscene films.
He was also hit with a penalty of almost $153,000 for three income tax offences.
In passing sentence, District Judge Lim Keng Yeow pointed out that Chew's offences had involved underage girls, some as young as 15.
It is an offence to have sex with a girl under-16 or to have commercial sex with a girl under-18.
Said Judge Lim: "We face the reality that some misguided minors may be willing to turn to prostitution to earn what appears to be easy money."
But what is worse is when mature adults readily draw them into the trade and become perversely enticed by their innocence, he said.
"Our society fully expects that adults who fail to show necessary restraint in dealing with minors will receive severe penalties, regardless of how willing... the minor might be."
Court papers said Chew, who has been married since 2002, started his vice business in mid-2007 when he ran advertisements in newspapers to recruit female social escorts.
After business boomed, he spent about $24,000 to hire professionals to create a website and an SMS database program for his business in 2010.
He continued running advertisements but did not mention sexual services. He or his employees would meet and interview applicants at his office or a public place.
When recruiting females under 18, Chew would convince them to have sex with him before hiring them.
He would tell them he needed to try them out and provide pointers.
That was how he convinced a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him in June 2008 before recruiting her to be a prostitute.
He met another 15-year-old girl, who had asked her 16-year-old friend along for the interview and photo shoot in a hotel room.
He convinced the two to engage in a threesome with him and paid them $50 each after that.
Chew also filmed himself having sex with his prostitutes in hotel rooms or his Toa Payoh home on 27 occasions. Many of them were unaware they were being filmed.
Chew also admitted he filed false income tax entries so he could evade paying about $27,000 in taxes. He also falsely declared his father, mother and wife were working for him so he could receive Productivity and Innovation Credit payouts of $24,000.