20th man jailed for paid sex in online vice ring case

A man became the 20th person on Tuesday to be sentenced to jail for paid sex with an escort in the online vice ring case.

Ng Guan Mean, 38, who was given nine weeks' jail, is appealing. Bail of $15,000 was offered.

He pleaded guilty last August to paying $450 for the sexual services of the girl, who was then below 18, at M Hotel on Anson Road on Oct 2, 2010. The then portfolio manager first became acquainted with a website offering escort services in 2010 through another website, Sammyboy forum. Knowing that the escorts also provided sexual services, he proceeded to obtain the services of the minor, described as an 18-year-old polytechnic student.

On Oct 1 that year, he sent a text message to the website operator, Tang Boon Thiew, 39, to ask if the minor was available for booking either that day or the next day. Tang replied that the minor was available the following day, and that it would cost $450 for an hour.

Ng booked a room at M Hotel and Tang arranged for the escort to go there.

According to Ng, he had asked the escort for her age and she said she was 19 when her actual age was 17. But he did not ask to see her identification documents. He paid her $450 for her sexual services.

Two of the 19 men convicted of having paid sex with the escort, including Swiss national Juerg Buergen, 41, are appealing against their sentences. Tang is also appealing and his case will be heard next week.

Ng could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined.