'Sexual predator' jailed for molesting 10-year-old girl he enticed through TikTok

(PHOTO: Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A 51-year-old man professed his love to a 10-year-old girl on social media application TikTok and arranged to meet her after school.

The girl’s father saw the messages and asked her teacher not to allow her daughter to leave school after class was dismissed.

On the day of the incident however, the father went to fetch his daughter after school, only to find that she had already left.

The man who led her away was Singaporean Jambi Arbi, who brought her to lunch and to a game arcade. He then brought the girl to his home, locked the door, and forced himself on her.

Jambi was sentenced to one year and 11 months’ jail on Wednesday (9 September) on one charge of molesting a victim under the age of 14, which he pleaded guilty to.

The girl, a primary school student at the point in time, cannot be named to protect her identity. She is a Singapore permanent resident.

Professed his love, called her ‘dear’

On 25 February this year, the night before the incident, the girl’s father checked his daughter’s handphone and found that she was chatting with Jambi on TikTok. He looked through his daughter’s conversation and saw that Jambi had professed his love to her and called her “dear”. He also found that Jambi asked his daughter to meet him the next day after school.

The father did not ask his daughter about the message as she was already asleep. However he messaged her teacher, asking her to forbid his daughter from leaving school after class.

At about 1.30pm on 26 February, the father went to fetch his daughter, only to find her missing. The teachers confirmed that she had left school before he arrived. The father called the police for assistance to find the victim.

His call, at 3.50pm, stated, “My daughter was last seen at school. She said she had school activities but I called the school and there was no such thing. School ended at 1330hrs and she was nowhere to be found.”

The father added that a person had said he would bring her daughter to buy clothes and to McDonald’s.

His daughter had earlier agreed to Jambi’s request to meet as Jambi promised to bring her to a game arcade. The girl had brought along a casual T-shirt at Jambi’s request.

Molested after bringing her to game arcade

At about 2pm, the girl met Jambi at Yio Chu Kang MRT Station where she changed into her T-shirt under his instruction.

Jambi then gave the girl a pair of sunglasses and told her to wear it before fetching her to Bukit Merah Central McDonald's on his motorcycle.

He bought food for the two of them before bringing the girl to a game arcade.

After the pair left the arcade, Jambi brought the girl to his house and the girl used the washroom. When she emerged, she noticed that Jambi had locked the door and gate of the flat.

Between, 3.28pm and 3.45pm, while in the flat, Jambi began touching the girl, ostensibly to massage her and make her more flexible. He molested her and told her that her underwear was cute.

He touched her genitals claiming that he was helping her gain weight as she was too skinny. He also forced his mouth on the girl’s and placed her on his lap where he continued to kiss her. The girl felt uncomfortable with the acts.

Terrified, the victim told Jambi that she wished to return home. As she wore her socks and shoes to return home, Jambi kissed her mouth again. The duo left the flat at about 3.48pm and Jambi dropped the girl off outside her school. She returned home alone after 4.30pm.

‘Sexual predator’ who was brazen in his actions: DPP

The girl was interviewed by the police who responded to her father’s call and revealed that she had been befriended by Jambi on TikTok in late January this year. She added that she communicated with him frequently but denied being in a relationship with him, even though he had often said he loved her and called her “dear”.

She said that Jambi knew her age but had lied to her that he was 25.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) R Arvindren sought at least 22 months’ jail for Jambi, whom he described as a “sexual predator” who “preyed on a young and unsuspecting 10-year-old victim for his sexual gratification”.

“He used a social media application to find his victim and finally put into action his perverted plan,” said the prosecutor.

“The accused was brazen in his actions and executed a well-thought out plan to get the victim to fall into his trap. He used TikTok to convince the victim to meet him and picked her up right after her school ended.”

Jambi had enticed the girl with food and arcade games, knowing that these were the things a young child liked, said the DPP. The sentence imposed ought to send a clear message to like-minded offenders and deter others from preying on such young victims, the DPP added.

For molesting a victim under 14, Jambi could have been jailed up to five years, fined and/or caned.

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