Commercial sex tour organiser jailed more than four years, fined $8k for obscene films

SINGAPORE - The first man to be convicted of organising a commercial sex tour with a minor outside Singapore and distributing information to promote such conduct was jailed for four years and eight months on Tuesday.

Chan Chun Hong was also fined $8,000 for having obscene films at his Yishun Ring Road home on March last year. He had pleaded guilty to 12 of 145 charges, mostly of transmitting obscene material online.

The 31-year-old, also known as Chris, was arrested on March 1 last year at Changi Airport.

Police established his identity after receiving information from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about a Singaporean distributing child pornography.

Email exchanges between Chan, a paedophile and other users suggested that he had engaged in child sex tourism overseas.

In passing sentence, District Judge Siva Shanmugam said the legislative intent behind the creation of offences under section 376D of the Penal Code was to discourage demand for child sex tourism and prevent the sexual exploitation of young children.

In the present case, Judge Shanmugam said the facts did not disclose that the former army officer and financial consultant was running a syndicated operation.

It appeared to be the only occasion in which Chan had arranged for a commercial sex tour with a minor although there was some suggestion he might have gone on at least one previous tour to the Philippines to exploit young children.

"The age of the minors of intended commercial sex is a matter of grave concern," he said. "There is certainly an element of exploitation as the potential victims here clearly belong to a vulnerable class, namely, the young and poverty-stricken."

He noted that by virtue of his actions, Chan was "creating and enhancing demand for sex with children".

For organising a tour for sex with a minor under 18 years old outside Singapore or distributing information to promote such conduct, Chan could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined on each offence.

elena@sph.com.sg