Sammyboy Forum Telegram group member gets jail and fine, had more than 17,000 obscene videos
SINGAPORE: A member of an obscene Telegram group linked to website Sammyboy Forum was sentenced to eight weeks' jail and fined S$22,500 on Monday (Jan 24) for possessing obscene material and sending some to the chat group, which had about 25,000 members at the time.
Tan Yeow Chong, 40, pleaded guilty to three charges of transmitting obscene objects by electronic means, possessing 5,537 obscene images and possessing 17,219 obscene video files. Another four charges were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Tan was a member of the group chat "Sam's lots of CB collection" from late 2017.
This group chat, along with "Sam's House of Sins", was linked to the website Sammyboy Forum, where users discussed "various matters including pornography and other matters of a sexual nature", the prosecutor said.
Members of the two group chats could send text messages, pictures and video clips to the chat, allowing all other members to view them.
On Oct 24, 2019, a woman lodged a police report saying that members of the group chat were sharing lewd and indecent photos of girls.
Tan was traced as a suspect, along with three other men. Police investigations uncovered 17,219 obscene video files and 5,537 obscene pictures in Tan's devices at his home address on Nov 6, 2019.
He did not create the films nor the pictures, but had downloaded them online and kept them for his own personal consumption, the court heard.
Investigations also revealed that Tan sent six obscene pictures to the "Sam's lots of CB collection" group chat sometime on Nov 4, 2019 to approximately 25,000 unknown members of the group.
The prosecutor sought eight to 10 weeks' jail and a fine of between S$21,500 and S$22,000 for Tan.
He highlighted that Tan joined the group knowing that obscene material was being shared inside, and also contributed his own.
Defence lawyer Wasiur Rehman said his client did not intend to commercialise or profit, and that he is single and stays with his retired mother, who depends on him.
Tan is a working as a logistics coordinator in a multi-national corporation, and wanted to defer his jail term for four weeks as a lot of his Malaysian colleagues returned home for Chinese New Year, leaving behind a manpower crunch, said the lawyer.
Tan is a "hard-working man" and can still go back to his company, and this is his first brush with the law, said the lawyer.
For transmitting obscene objects by electronic means, Tan could have been jailed up to three months, fined, or both.
For possessing obscene films, he could have been jailed up to six months, fined up to S$20,000, or both.
Of his co-accused, 47-year-old Yee Wing Kay was given eight weeks' jail and a S$7,000 fine earlier this month.
Lincoln Anthony Fernandez, 31, was sentenced to eight weeks' jail and given a fine of S$20,000 in December.
Wong Ming Jun, 28, is set to return to court for a pre-trial conference next week.