14 men still being investigated for paid sex with underage girl

The latest batch of men being investigated for paying an underage girl for sex includes both Singaporeans and foreigners.

The Straits Times reported that 14 men are still under probe. Some of the foreigners involved may no longer be in the country.

The girl whom the men allegedly had sex with was below 18 at the time of the offences.

While initial reports said 80 men were involved in the case, sources told The Straits Times the final number charged may be lower than 62.

It is believed that the latest batch of men do not include high-profile individuals, unlike the 48 who were charged earlier, which included educators, civil servants, military officers and the grandson of a cinema operator.

Some among the latest batch being investigated may face similar charges, and they may be the final group of men appearing in court in connection with this case.

The alleged pimp, Tang Boon Thiew, 39, is expected to face more charges.

Tang was charged in court last November with 35 counts of prostitution-related offences, believed to have been committed between October 2009 and last November. These include 34 counts under the Women's Charter for living off the earnings of a prostitute, and one count of paid sex with a minor, believed to be the same girl.

Based on the charge sheets, at least 15 prostitutes between 18 and 47 years old had allegedly worked for him.

Tang reportedly went into the social escort business after learning from another pimp how profitable the business was.

Tang has not been seen in public since his name was linked to the case. The Straits Times said he is hiding at his home in the western part of Singapore.

Paid sex with a minor carries a jail term of up to seven years and a possible fine.

hteoh@sph.com.sg

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