Jail sentence for man who lived on prostitutes' earnings reduced from eight years to five

PUTRAJAYA: A former chairman of a religious group in Kota Baru, Kelantan, has lost his appeal to set aside his conviction for living on the earnings of four Thai prostitutes but succeeded in reducing his eight-year jail sentence to five.

A three-judge Court of Appeal panel led by Judge Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali, Datuk Azmi Ariffin and Datuk Azhahari Kamal Ramli, also reduced Chan Boon Lee's whipping sentence from four strokes to two.

The panel dismissed Chan's appeal against his conviction but granted his appeal to lower the jail and whipping sentence.

Justice Ruzima said evidence given by one of the Thai women was sufficient to prove that Chan had been living on the earnings of the prostitutes.

He, however, said the sentence meted out by the Session Court on Chan was excessive and the appellate court panel decided to reduce it to five years' jail and imposed two strokes of the cane instead of four.

Chan, 40, was initially sentenced to eight years in jail and four strokes of the cane by the Sessions Court in 2022 after being found guilty of committing the offence at an apartment unit on the 22nd floor of Apartment D' Perdana Sri Cemerlang, Jalan Sri Cemerlang in Kota Bahru at 11.30pm on Jan 15, 2021.

The charge under Section 372A of the Penal Code carries penalties of up to 15 years' imprisonment, whipping and a fine upon conviction.

His appeal against the Sessions Court decision was dismissed by the High Court last year.

According to the prosecution's case, a police team raiding the apartment found Chan and one Thai woman at a table in the living room.

Upon inspection, they discovered 12 condoms and RM1,350 in cash. There were also three other Thai women and eight Bangladeshi men in the apartment.

The four women provided sexual services to the Bangladeshi men for RM150 per session, with RM50 given to Chan from each transaction.

Chan was represented by lawyer Datuk Sukri Mohamed, while deputy public prosecutor Eyu Ghim Siang appeared for the prosecution. – Bernama

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