SINGAPORE - A 31-year-old man facing more than 100 charges has become the first to be convicted of organising a commercial sex tour overseas and distributing information intended to promote paid sex with a minor outside Singapore.
Chan Chun Hong pleaded guilty on Friday to seven counts of transmitting obscene materials by electronic means, one count of making travel plans, three counts of distributing information to promote commercial sex, and one of having obscene films.
Another 133 charges, mostly for transmitting obscene materials, will be considered when he is sentenced.
Following a tip-off from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013, Chan, also known as Chris, was arrested at Changi Airport on March 1 last year.
Information received suggested he had engaged in child sex tourism in countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang said Chan was addicted to child pornography and had started to source online for platforms to obtain such materials. He also communicated with others to trade and exchange materials online and started a new e-mail address to do this in 2011.
Investigations showed that he saved his collections of child pornography in his portable hard disk and transmitted it to other users in exchange for new material between Dec 2, 2011 and Sept 6, 2012.
The obscene photographs and videos included naked or half-naked young girls in various sexual acts and poses. Some appeared to be as young as two.
Mr Yang said Chan first contacted one "Mike Timothy" in May 2012, to trade pictures and videos of young girls, .
He visited Mike Timothy in the Philippines in early 2013 to photograph young girls in sexy poses.
From Nov 24, 2013, police used a decoy moniker "Teo Dennis" to investigate possible offences against Chan for commercial sex with minors outside Singapore.
Chan subsequently booked air tickets for Teo and himself to travel to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to have sex with under-18 girls after Teo had transferred $1,000 to him in February last year.
The planned trip, from April 1 to 4 that year, involved going to karaoke lounges in Phnom Penh to select young girls for sex, and if they were "more adventurous", to the more rural areas to search for even younger girls.
The prosecution is seeking a jail sentence of at least six years for Chan, whose lawyer Rajan Nair asked that the case be adjourned to Feb 16.
The maximum penalty for taking a tour outside Singapore for commercial sex with a minor is 10 years' jail and a fine on each charge.