SINGAPORE - A 41-year-old webmaster who advertised the sexual services of more than 130 prostitutes from China on his website earned more than $375,000 over a two-year period.
Chue Chia Yong used part of the sum to pay the $3,500 monthly rent for his Balmoral Crescent condominium and his BMW car mortgage of $1,718 per month.
Yesterday, he was jailed for 12 months and two weeks, and ordered to pay a $20,217 penalty.
Chue pleaded guilty to 16 charges of living on the immoral earnings of a prostitute, possessing and transmitting obscene films, using the benefits from criminal conduct and evading income tax.
He admitted to 20 other charges, which were taken into consideration during sentencing.
In 2012, Chue, who was jobless, contacted some prostitutes who had advertised their services on an online forum. He realised they were paying between $300 and $400 monthly to a webmaster.
He then started a blog for prostitutes to advertise themselves and also uploaded their photos. Chue did not charge them initially, as he wanted to grow his client base first.
He later started a website hosted on an overseas server and collected $300 monthly from the prostitutes who advertised with him. He also took photos and videos of himself having sex with some of the prostitutes. In mid-2014, he increased his fee to $400.
He was arrested later that year, after the police received a tip-off.
Besides 124 obscene photos and 10 obscene videos on his website, police also found 2,491 videos of a similar nature on his external hard disk, and 289 on his laptop.
Prosecutors asked for 12 months' jail, saying Chue played a "crucial link in the prostitution chain".
He had over 130 prostitutes listed on his website at the time of his arrest, and had earned more than $375,000. He also declared that his income tax return for the 2014 year of assessment was $60,000, when it was actually $150,317.
Chue's lawyer, Mr Foo Cheow Ming, asked for leniency, saying his client was not a pimp, but just "an advertising agent".
But District Judge Eddy Tham disagreed.
" He played a big role in assisting the prostitutes to obtain customers," he said.
"He was not a mere employee... even taking videos and photos and uploading them on the website to attract customers."