Student, 19, tried to extort money from sex worker, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Student, 19, tried to extort money from sex worker

This article is more than 12 months old

Student threatened to alert police if she did not hand over money

A student visited a sex worker and threatened to alert the police about her activities if she did not hand over her money.

The 40-year-old Chinese national refused to comply and he left empty-handed.

Jonathan Kong Jia Xiong, who was later arrested, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of extortion.

On June 18, the Institute of Technical Education student, 19, received a phone call from someone known only as "Kelvin" who asked him if he wanted to earn "easy money".

Kelvin told Kong that he had to visit various sex workers and threaten to call the police on them if they did not give him money. The teenager agreed.

The next day, Kong went to the void deck of Block 236 at Serangoon Avenue 3 at around 8pm to meet Kelvin, who handed him a mobile phone and some SIM cards.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Samuel Yap said: "He also gave the accused the phone numbers of the various prostitutes the accused was to visit."

Kelvin told Kong to contact the prostitutes using the SIM cards, with instructions on which card to use for the prostitutes that Kelvin had contacted, said DPP Yap.

About 30 minutes later, Kong went to the Hougang flat of a sex worker, who asked him for $100 upfront for her services.

DPP Yap told District Judge Eddy Tham: "The accused did not pay the victim and instead asked the victim for money."

When she refused, Kong told her that it was illegal to provide sexual services.

DPP Yap said: "The accused then attempted to put the victim in fear in order to commit extortion by threatening to call the police to have the victim arrested for illegally providing sexual services in Singapore unless the victim handed over her money..."

The court heard that Kong left the flat empty-handed when the woman refused to give in to his demand.

Yesterday, DPP Yap urged the court to call for a report to assess Kong's suitability for reformative training, stressing that he had committed an "extremely serious" offence.

Defence lawyer Peter Ezekiel asked the judge to call for a report to assess his client's suitability for probation. He also said Kong was a young offender who was not the mastermind of the scheme.

The Straits Times understands Kelvin has not been dealt with in court. Court documents did not state if any action was taken against the sex worker.

Kong, who is out on $15,000 bail, will be back in court on Nov 27.