SINGAPORE - In what the prosecution said was the worst case of its kind, a customer service officer was jailed for three years on Tuesday (Feb 6) after capturing more than 200 obscene films of unsuspecting women, including his own friends.
Ong Yi Jie, 27, was the third man to be dealt with in court in a case involving online groups that shared voyeuristic videos taken with hidden cameras in places such as public toilets and changing rooms.
He pleaded guilty to 40 counts of insulting a woman's modesty and one charge of possessing 57 obscene films for the purpose of distribution. The court heard that 217 other charges, including 213 additional counts of insulting a woman's modesty, were considered during sentencing.
In 2013, Ong bought hidden cameras shaped like wall hooks and started filming extensively until 2015. He planted the devices in places such as toilets in Nanyang Polytechnic and the Church of Singapore in Bukit Timah.
In 2014, Ong invited four female friends to his home and secretly filmed them as they used the toilet.
He would then share and trade the films on Sammyboy Forum - a predominantly sex-themed online site that contains hundreds of threads sharing obscene material.
On Nov 11, 2016, the Ministry of Education reported to the police that it had received information on obscene videos circulating on the Internet of school girls in toilets or changing rooms taken with hidden cameras. The clips were found on platforms such as Google groups and Sammyboy Forum.
Police raided Ong's home later that month and arrested him.
Last month , former security guard Ali V. P. Mohamed, 46, was sentenced to two years' jail and fined $80,000 after he was convicted following a trial of possessing 801 obscene films for the purpose of distribution. However, he did not shoot any obscene videos of women.
In late 2016, Ali created SG Horizon Club, a Google group, for members to share sex-themed films including obscene hidden-camera videos. The court heard that if members did not share at least one obscene video a week, they were kicked out of the group.
Former sales engineer Joel Chew Weichen, 27, was jailed for six months in October last year after pleading guilty to having 280 obscene films for distribution in his Whampoa Drive home.
The cases involving two other men - digital marketing specialist Clarence Tang Jia Ming, 25, and fund accountant Shaun Lee, 28 - are still pending.
All five men were members of Sammyboy Forum. Chew and Lee were members of the SG Horizon Club while Ong and Tang were not.
However, the films Ong produced were also circulated in the club, the court heard.