Para-athlete Adam Kamis convicted of vice-related charges and recruiting a child for sexual exploitation

Singapore para-athlete Adam Kamis has pleaded guilty to 11 charges under the Women's Charter and one under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.
Singapore para-athlete Adam Kamis has pleaded guilty to 11 charges under the Women's Charter and one under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Singapore para-athlete Adam Kamis, better known as the "one-armed runner", was on Monday (June 20) convicted of charges of procuring and trying to procure women for prostitution as well as recruiting a child for sexual exploitation.

The 37-year-old motivational speaker, who faced 34 charges, pleaded guilty to 11 charges under the Women's Charter and one under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.

The offences spanned more than two years from early 2013 until his arrest on Oct 6 last year.

Adam lost his right arm in a motorcycle accident in 2003, which also left his left arm paralysed. He represented Singapore at the Commonwealth Games and Asean Para Games.

In early 2013, he was in debt and set up a social escort agency, SG Freelancers, to offer the sexual services of women under his employ.

To recruit women to work for the agency, he adopted the monicker of "Angel Tan" and passed himself off as a social escort working for the agency.

Using Angel Tan's Facebook account, he would send a template message offering a high income freelance job to random women on Facebook and other social media platforms.

He would then inform interested women that the job entailed engaging in protected sex and providing other sexual services to customers. Interested parties were asked to fill in a sexually explicit questionnaire detailing their particulars, preferred working conditions and the sexual services they were willing to provide.

After he had received their questionnaires and photographs, Adam arranged to interview the women at his flat in Yishun.

At the interview, he would introduce himself as a handler of SG Freelancers and brief the women on the agency, work processes, the rules and regulations governing their assignments and the expected remuneration.

He explained that while he would not receive a commission for the first client, he expected a commission ranging from 5 to 50per cent for subsequent clients. The women were also told that they would earn less money if they did not provide sexual services.

If the women were agreeable, he would then conduct a "verification" process. This began with the women stripping fully for him to inspect the condition of their bodies and to verify if there were piercings, tattoos, scars or birthmarks that had not been declared in the questionnaire.

Then, they were asked to provide him with the service or services they were willing to provide to clients, including sex and oral sex.

Some of the women who did not perform satisfactorily were told to return for a further "verification" session.

If the women were still keen on working for the agency after completing each of the steps, he would then create an online profile for them on Craigslist and Locanto to advertise their services.

The court heard that 34 women had responded to his advertisements. They came from all walks of life - from a childcare teacher to an accountant - and were aged 17 to 39 years.

Over the 2½ years, he only managed to secure five clients for the women he engaged. He did not receive any commission from the women as none of them had serviced more than one client.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz is seeking a sentence of 38 months to be imposed on Adam.

She argued that this was not a spur of the moment decision but the culmination of detailed and meticulous planning which spawned a well laid-out, sophisticated, multi-tiered recruitment process. He was both the mastermind and operator of the entire enterprise, she said.

He "tested" the women before recruiting them and even coached them on how to conduct themselves with clients; and acted as the "classic pimp" who organised the vice-operation.

Adam, represented by Mr Ravinderpal Singh and Mr James Ow Yong, will be sentenced on June 27.