Ex-husband of socialite Kim Lim gets jail for role in illegal gambling syndicate
SINGAPORE: A former husband of socialite Kim Lim and ex-son-in-law of billionaire Peter Lim was sentenced on Tuesday (May 9) for his role in an illegal gambling syndicate.
Kho Bin Kai, 32, was given two years and 10 months' jail and a fine of S$40,000.
Kho, who fathered a son with Ms Lim, pleaded guilty to five charges including managing remote gambling and using criminal proceeds to buy luxury watches. Another eight charges were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Kho began dabbling in illegal gambling in 2012, becoming an agent for football betting and earning S$2,000 (US$1,507) to S$5,000 a month.
In mid-2016, he was introduced to a man known as "Ah Leong", who invited him to join his 4D and TOTO "business".
Kho agreed and began acting as a master agent for a gambling website in April 2017, taking 10 per cent commission as well as a position taking 90 per cent of the centralised pot for all tickets on the website.
Kho earned about S$30,000 to S$40,000 a month on average for this one account alone, but there were months when he earned nothing.
He later took control of other master agent accounts for illegal gambling websites and also roped in smaller agents under him, paying them monthly salaries.
One website alone took bets of S$326,766 from 4D and TOTO punters in just a week in July 2019.
Kho used S$32,000 of the criminal proceeds to buy an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch in 2016, as well as S$5,000 to make partial payment for a diamond-encrusted Rolex in 2015.
Kho was arrested in July 2019, as part of an islandwide operation by the police cracking down on illegal online gambling.
He was one of 36 people arrested. He admitted to having master agent accounts for various websites and gave up his user identification and passwords.
His house was searched and the police seized multiple items including four Rolexes, cash in various denominations, his vehicle and his laptop.
The prosecution asked for a jail term of between two years and four years and one month, along with a fine of S$60,000.
They said Kho was a master agent working for "Ah Leong" for about three years and committed the offences for personal gain.
Kho was represented by lawyers Mr Sunil Sudheesan, Ms Joyce Khoo and Ms Chow Ee Ning from Quahe Woo & Palmer.
They asked for between 12 and 14 months' jail and a fine of not more than S$40,000.
Mr Sudheesan said Kho had no authority or ability to promote any other master agents. He has also fully cooperated with authorities during the past four years of investigations.
The judge noted that one of the co-accused had been sentenced to 18 months' jail, but both Kho's culpability and the amounts involved were higher.
Kho was allowed to defer his sentence by two weeks.
Lam, L. (2023, May 9). Ex-husband of socialite Kim Lim gets jail for role in illegal gambling syndicate. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/ex-husband-socialite-kim-lim-gets-jail-role-illegal-gambling-syndicate-3475426