SINGAPORE: A man in a case where obscene images of women were circulated in a Telegram chat group named SG Nasi Lemak pleaded guilty on Friday (Sep 18), the first person to do so in the group.
Justin Lee Han Shi, 20, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Films Act of possessing 462 obscene films.
Another two charges of transmitting obscene pornographic materials and possessing obscene images will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
The judge called for a report to assess his suitability for probation; Lee was between 18 and 19 years of age at the time of the offences.
Court documents said that police received information on obscene materials being distributed on Telegram in March last year.
Police officers raided Lee's home in October 2019 and seized several electronic devices including three phones and a laptop.
Lee admitted that he was a member in the sex-themed Telegram chat group and that the devices belonged to him.
The chat group is believed to have had up to 44,000 members at one point and included obscene photos and videos of women. It came to public attention after some women realised their photos were in the chat.
READ: SG Nasi Lemak Telegram chat group: Suspected administrator faces fresh charge of possessing porn
The devices were taken for forensic examination and content extraction, along with a subsequent hard disk drive.
A total of 1,131 image files and 790 video files were extracted from the devices, with 462 obscene videos depicting sex acts found in the hard disk.
Lee admitted that he had downloaded these images and videos online and stored them "for his personal consumption". He also admitted that he had forwarded obscene films to other members in the SG Nasi Lemak group upon request.
Lee will return to court for sentencing on Oct 16. He could be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$20,000 or both for possessing obscene films.
Lee was among four people charged over the case in October 2019. The others are chat group administrators Leonard Teo Min Xuan, 27, and Liong Tianwei, 38.
The fourth accused is an 18-year-old who cannot be named under the Children and Young Persons Act as he was under 18 at the time of the offences.
The police received several reports against the chat group between March and October last year for “circulating obscene materials and promoting vice activities”, they said previously.
The suspects were identified and arrested at various locations in Singapore, and the police advised the public “to stop soliciting in any lewd website or joining such online platforms and illicit chat groups”.
The cases for the co-accused are pending.