The Straits Times/Asia News Network
The prosecution has sought a sentence of at least five years' jail for a man who went on the Dark Web to hire a hitman to murder the boyfriend of his former lover through a staged car accident.
On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kumaresan Gohulabalan told the court that risk management executive Allen Vincent Hui Kim Seng, 47, was unable to move on from his former girlfriend, Ng Woan Man, 30, remaining "obsessed" with her and stalking her "incessantly".
The DPP added that Hui, after finding out that Ng had a new lover -- Tan Han Shen, also 30 -- took a series of calculated steps to engage a hitman-for-hire to orchestrate the younger man's murder.
He told District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan: "The accused's engagement of Camorra Hitmen to murder a stranger was not only a cold-blooded but also highly sophisticated act, which involved significant planning and premeditation, and leveraged the convenience and anonymity of the Dark Web, a platform notorious for illegal activity."
The court heard that the Dark Web contains websites that are not indexed by search engines such as Google. It is accessible only by special software, through which users and website operators can remain anonymous as well as untraceable.
Defence lawyer Lee Teck Leng, who pleaded for a sentence of 21/2 years' jail, said "no potential harm" was caused by Hui's offence, and that Camorra Hitmen was a scam.
He highlighted two articles, one of which had appeared in July last year on the website of British newspaper The Times, entitled "Hire-a-hitman website is a scam and its owner has made a killing".
Lee said the report stated: "The website, which goes under various names including Chechen Mob, Russian Mafia and Cosa Nostra, has been linked to the arrest of a deacon in Minnesota, a businessman in Singapore and a retired family doctor from Bournemouth."
The lawyer said Hui was the "businessman in Singapore" referred to in the report.
In response, the DPP said it was "dangerous" for the court to place any weight on the articles, stressing that it was not known for a fact that Camorra Hitmen was a scam.
The website's name could be a reference to the Camorra, an Italian Mafia-type crime syndicate.
On July 17 this year, Hui, who is married and has a young daughter, pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally abetting Camorra Hitmen to kill Mr Tan.
Hui had started an extramarital relationship with Ng on April 22, 2016, but she ended the affair in February last year when she realised he had no intention of leaving his wife. About two months later, Ng started dating Tan.
Consumed by jealousy, Hui went on the Camorra Hitmen website on May 6 last year and asked for Tan's right hand to be cut off.
He later asked for the younger man to be killed in a staged car accident and the murder was to take place on May 22 last year.
But on May 12 the same year, a CBS journalist contacted the Singapore Embassy in Washington and informed it about the "hit". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs alerted the Singapore Police Force and officers arrested Hui five days later.