A Singaporean man facing 140 counts of distributing child pornography, and who last week pled guilty to planning a trip to Cambodia to have sex with underage girls, in 2012 also boasted of intercourse with a 15-year-old in Phnom Penh, according to Singaporean media and court documents obtained Monday.
Chan Chun Hong, 31, on Friday pled guilty in his home country to one count of making travel plans to engage in commercial sex with a minor, seven counts of electronically transmitting obscene materials, three counts of promoting commercial sex and one count of possessing obscene films, according to an article in Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper.
Working off an FBI tip, Singaporean police in January 2013 began a yearlong investigation that found that Mr. Chan in 2009 began “actively doing research online regarding child sex crimes and abuse,” according to a court document provided by Singapore’s Attorney General’s Chambers.
The document, dated September 11, 2014, and signed by deputy public prosecutor Yang Ziliang, also shows that Mr. Chan amassed a huge collection of child pornography over the course of five years.
He distributed the pornography, including videos and photos of children having sex with adult men, to people around the world, the document says.
“Information had also revealed that there are email exchanges between [Mr. Chan] and other users which suggested that the accused person had engaged in Child Sex tourism in countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia and Philippines,” it says.
During the course of their investigation, police also discovered email correspondence from May 2012 between Mr. Chan and a man named Mike Timothy, the document shows.
According to the document, the two exchanged videos and photos of underage girls having intercourse with older men.
The two also boasted about their sexual exploits.
“The Accused revealed that the youngest girl he has had sexual intercourse with was a 15 year old girl in Phnom Penh, Cambodia,” the document says.
“The Accused wanted to find girls between the age of 8 and 12 years in Cambodia,” it adds.
Mr. Chan and Mr. Timothy also met in Cebu in the Philippines in early 2013 to take photos of young girls in revealing clothing, which were later distributed online, the document shows.
“These photographs show young girls with make-up and in cropped tops, short skirts and short dresses posing on beds and other locations,” it says.
In November 2013, Singaporean police contacted Mr. Chan online using the alias “Teo Dennis” in order to determine whether he was having sex with minors overseas.
Using the alias, police told Mr. Chan they were interested in finding underage girls. Mr. Chan then suggested they travel together to Cambodia.
“You can go Cambodia, Phnom Penh,” Mr. Chan wrote, according to the document. “I find 12 to 14 year olds the best as they are freshest and is becoming a grown up girl soon. Innocent too. 🙂 and very curious about sex.”
In subsequent conversations, they agreed that “Teo Dennis” would pay for flights and accommodation. Mr. Chan bought the tickets, planning the 4-day holiday for April.
But before the trip could happen, police arrested Mr. Chan at Singapore’s Changi Airport on March 1, according to the document. It does not say why he was at the airport.
Under Singapore’s Penal Code, planning, organizing or making a trip to a foreign country in order to have sex with minors is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
According to the Straits Times article, Mr. Chan’s trial will resume on February 16, when the he will face 133 more counts of electronically transmitting obscene materials.
The article adds that Mr. Chan was the first person to be convicted in Singapore of organizing a “commercial sex tour overseas.”
Multiple officials at the Cambodian Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department said Monday they knew nothing about Mr. Chan’s case.
Samleang Seila, country director of anti-pedophile NGO Action pour les Enfants (APLE), which deals primarily with cases involving foreign perpetrators, said the group was not involved in the investigation, nor aware of the crime Mr. Chan allegedly committed in Cambodia.
Mr. Seila said, however, that Singapore should not have used Cambodia’s reputation as a haven for pedophiles as a means of incriminating possible child abusers.
“Sex offenders should not be attracted to Cambodia for whatever investigative purposes,” he said. “We are already vulnerable, our children are already vulnerable to sex offenders.”
(Additional reporting by Hul Reaksmey)