Fund accountant jailed 11 months for role in sharing obscene films online

Singapore state courts (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A man who secretly filmed women including students changing clothes and relieving themselves, and distributed more than 600 obscene films was jailed 11 months on Tuesday (20 March).

Shaun Lee, a 29-year-old fund accountant, admitted in the State Courts to having 663 obscene films in his possession for the purpose of distribution, insulting the modesty of a woman by using a hidden camera to record a woman in a vulnerable position, and being part of a conspiracy intended to insult the modesty of a woman. Another count of being part of the conspiracy was taken into account for sentencing.

Lee was part of a syndicate which shares voyeuristic videos taken with hidden cameras in places such as toilets and changing rooms on an online platform. He was the fourth man from the syndicate to be dealt with.

Police investigations showed that one of the Google groups involved was SG Horizon Club. The administrator of the group was former security guard Ali V P Mohamed, 46, who had since been jailed two years and fined $80,000 for his offences. Former sales engineer Joel Chew Weichen and customer service officer Ong Yi Jie, both 27, had also been jailed six months and three years, respectively.

A fifth person, digital marketing specialist Clarence Tang Jia Ming, 25, has yet to be dealt with by the courts.

Ali set up the group some time in late 2016 and granted membership to Singaporean users who were willing to share sexually-themed films made in Singapore. As a condition of being a member of the group, users had to upload and share at least one video a week or risked being kicked out of the group. Lee, one of the 200 members of the group, adhered to the rules by sharing videos from his own collection.

However, Lee’s involvement with hidden camera footage dated as far back as 2013.

Lee became acquainted with Ong over MSN messenger that year and the two exchanged hidden camera films. Ong later told Lee he filmed the footage with cameras in the shape of clothes hooks, which inspired Lee into doing the same. Lee purchased a few hidden cameras to commit the acts.

Sometime between April and June 2016, Lee invited some of his female friends to his home for a gathering. His friends were unaware that he had placed one of his hook cameras on the wall under the basin of the toilet so that he could film them while they used the toilet.

Lee also transferred money to Ong to purchase new hidden cameras and in return, Ong sent Lee about 40 to 50 obscene videos via Skype.

On 11 November 2016, the Ministry of Education (MOE) lodged a police report saying it had received information about obscene videos of school girls in toilets or changing rooms circulating on the Internet, on Sammyboy Forum, as well as on Google Groups and on a filesharing website, Volafile.

Police raided Lee’s home late in November 2016 and seized items such as hard drives containing the obscene films.