In a surprising turn of events, a Singaporean man has been sentenced to 11 weeks in jail for aiding and abetting a sex worker in running a brothel.
According to Mothership, the 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to one charge of cheating the unit’s owner and another charge of contravening the Women’s Charter for renting the unit to use as a brothel.
Another charge of obstructing the course of justice was taken into consideration.
A Relationship Ignited through WeChat
The convicted man, 29-year-old Lim Meng Hwee, first encountered the 36-year-old Chinese national through the messaging app WeChat in December 2019. What initially started as an acquaintance gradually developed into a romantic relationship by June 2020. However, Lim remained oblivious to his partner’s involvement in the sex tradetrade, according to the report.
Suspicion Arises and Deeper Investigations Begin
In May 2020, the woman requested Lim’s assistance in renting a condominium unit in Singapore’s Mount Sophia area. Sensing unease about her intentions, Lim conducted online searches related to vice-related activities, which only served to confirm his suspicions. His investigations led him to discover the woman’s online advertisement for sexual services, leaving him with no choice but to confront her about her involvement in the sex trade.
Surprising Admission and Unusual Agreement
To Lim’s surprise, the woman admitted her role as a sex worker when confronted. Despite this revelation, Lim astonishingly agreed to assist her in securing the condominium unit, fully aware of her intentions to operate a brothel from there. In an effort to avoid suspicion, the woman even provided specific instructions to avoid renting units with security guards.
Leasing the Unit and Financial Transactions
On May 24, 2020, Lim deceived the owner of the condominium unit by falsely claiming that he would be residing there himself. With the lease secured, Lim handed over the keys to the woman, who wasted no time in starting her illicit activities. She provided sexual services to clients from the premises until August 20, 2020, when a police raid brought an end to the operation.
Financial transactions were also involved in this illegal arrangement. The woman paid Lim a total of S$700, which she had earned from her sex work, to cover the unit’s utility bills and WiFi expenses.
Attempt to Conceal Evidence: Lim Deletes All Electronic Communication
In an attempt to cover his tracks, Lim deleted all electronic communication between himself and the woman, including messages exchanged via SMS, WeChat, and WhatsApp. However, his efforts to conceal evidence were ultimately in vain.
The woman turned witness against Lim, leading to his arrest on August 10, 2022, two years after the police raided her brothel. The case proceeded to court, where Lim pleaded guilty to charges of cheating the unit’s owner and contravening the Women’s Charter by renting the unit for use as a brothel. Another charge of obstructing the course of justice was taken into consideration during sentencing.
Lim was sentenced to 11 weeks in jail by a district judge on April 28, 2023. The prosecutor stressed the paramount importance of deterring such offenses, given the strong public interest at stake. It was particularly noteworthy that Lim’s actions facilitated the operation of a brothel discreetly within a residential area for an extended period of nearly three months.
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