Man charged under new human trafficking act

SINGAPORE - A 24-year-old Singaporean man was on Thursday charged with trafficking in persons under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.

The is the first case to be prosecuted under the Act since it took effect last month.

According to court documents, the accused, Muhammad Khairulanuar Rohmat, had allegedly recruited a 15-year-old teenager with the purpose of exploiting her last Wednesday afternoon at a Starbucks cafe in Orchard Road.

Later, he supposedly had consensual sex with her at a men's toilet in Cuppage Plaza. For this offence, he faces a second charge of having sex with a minor.

Khairulanuar has been remanded for a week for further investigations. The case will be heard again on April 29.

Under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act, anyone who recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a child for the purpose of exploitation, whether here or abroad, is guilty of an offence.

If convicted for trafficking, Khairulanuar could be fined up to $100,000, jailed up to 10 years and caned a maximum of six strokes. For sexually penetrating a minor, he could be jailed up to 10 years or fined, or both.

dansonc@sph.com.sg