SINGAPORE — A former model who ran a social escort agency which provided sexual services was jailed for five months and fined $920 on Friday (19 February).
Farlynda Tan, formerly a social escort herself, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Women's Charter for living in part on the earnings of a 16-year-old girl and of procuring her for prostitution. Tan received a total of $920 between 15 June and 22 June 2019 from the prostitution in relation to the two charges.
The 38-year-old Singaporean, who was emotional throughout her hearing, operated "Elixir Event", which openly provided "intimate" services to male customers for three to four years before her arrest.
Tan, who has a 19-year-old son and young daughter, hired five freelance models under Elixir Event. Tan made use of a network of clubs and customers from her own modelling days and used the pseudonyms "Elixir Wong" and "Alexa" for her business.
Facts of the case
The 16-year-old victim was searching for a job on e-commerce platform Carousell when she came across Tan's advertisement for freelance modelling and "fast cash". The victim contacted Tan, who told her that there were two types of events: companionship and escorting.
She told the girl that intimacy was involved and that she would be a "girlfriend" for clients. When the victim asked if sex was involved, Tan replied that it was. She explained the commission structure of the company, which took 40 per cent of the assignment earnings.
The victim agreed as she wanted fast cash. She sent a photo of her face and figure and claimed she was 19 years old. Tan did not verify her age.
On 13 June 2019, the victim said she was available for work, and Tan arranged an "intimacy assignment" for her.
The following day, the victim met a Singaporean man at Marina Mandarin Hotel and serviced him. The man paid her $1,300 and the victim kept $780. She transferred the rest to Tan.
On 22 June, Tan arranged another assignment for the victim, who went to a condominium unit in Sengkang on the same day. She serviced the man, who then paid her $1,001. The victim kept $599 of her earnings while the rest was handed to Tan.
Over a period of three to four years until November 2019, Tan made a total of $30,000 from the prostitution of her models. She arranged around two prostitution assignments per month and spent her earnings on living expenses.
On 26 November 2019, Tan was arrested after the authorities obtained information that Elixir Event was engaged in vice activities.
'It was not true'
Before she was sentenced, a tearful Tan told the court that "it was not true" that she operated an escort company and that most of the statement of facts read out was not true.
After District Judge Prem Raj stood down the case for Tan to confer with her lawyer Noor Mohamed Marican, Tan accepted the statement of facts without qualification. However, her sobs continued to punctuate court proceedings.
Marican told the court that his client had wanted to plead guilty earlier but "could not adjust to the reality that she faced", which resulted in the delay.
"I have been on this file for quite some time and we tried our best to be as gentle and merciful as we can to delay this pleading guilty so that she can face the reality, Your Honour. For this, I must express appreciation to Your Honour and the learned prosecutor for the indulgence you have shown us," he said.
"She has difficulty in facing reality now, that is the reason for her breaking down several times. It has caused her so much of embarrassment and she has herself to blame, I'm aware, but this is a difficult period now. She has told me she wants to move on and be a useful citizen and to move forward and not to repeat what she has done."
Tan had done a lot of charity and also completed a diploma in tourism, the lawyer added. He said Tan had also registered herself to study a course of global politics and mass communications online for the next few years in order to better herself and move on with life.
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