Online vice ring: 20th man pleads guilty to sex with underage escort

A 20th man in the online vice ring case admitted to paying $450 for the sexual services of an underage escort. Arjunan Kulasegaram (above), 38, who is self-employed, was surfing the Internet in late 2010 looking for social escorts when he came across
A 20th man in the online vice ring case admitted to paying $450 for the sexual services of an underage escort. Arjunan Kulasegaram (above), 38, who is self-employed, was surfing the Internet in late 2010 looking for social escorts when he came across a website providing sexual services. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH

A 20th man in the online vice ring case admitted to paying $450 for the sexual services of an underage escort. Arjunan Kulasegaram, 38, who is self-employed, was surfing the Internet in late 2010 looking for social escorts when he came across a website providing sexual services.

Using the alias "Mike'' he arranged his bookings with the escorts by sending text messages from his mobile phone to the contact number listed on the website. On Oct 10 that year, he sent a text message to the pimp, Tang Boon Thiew, to find out if he had any Singaporean females for booking that day.

Tang told him that the minor was available and that her sexual services would cost $450 for one hour. Kulasegaram confirmed the booking with Tang and said he had a room at the Pan Pacific Orchard, Claymore Road. He met the escort, who was then 17, at the hotel and brought her to the room where she performed oral sex for him. He paid her $450.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Elizabeth Chua is seeking a sentence of around 12 weeks' jail in line with the other cases. So far, 19 others have also pleaded guilty to having commercial sex with the same girl and were each given between eight and 12 weeks' jail. Another man, Swiss national Juerg Buergin, 41, was convicted after trial and sentenced to four months and three weeks. The judge postponed sentencing to Aug 16 to find out if the Singapore Prison Service can accommodate Kulasegaram's medical ailments. The maximum penalty for the offence is seven years' jail and a fine.