SINGAPORE - Billionaire Peter Lim’s former son-in-law, Kho Bin Kai, will be spending time behind bars after he pleaded guilty to multiple offences including those involving a syndicate linked to illegal gambling activities.
Kho, 32, was sentenced to two years and 10 months’ jail and a fine of $40,000 on Tuesday. He had earlier pleaded guilty to three charges under the Remote Gambling Act and two counts of dealing with the benefits of criminal conduct.
He was married to Mr Lim’s daughter, local socialite Kim Lim, for three years before they divorced in 2020. He was her first husband.
Kho, a Singaporean, was linked to multiple illegal gambling websites, earning an average of between $30,000 and $40,000 a month over one of them alone.
He later used $32,000 of his ill-gotten gains to pay for an Audemars Piguet watch. He also used $5,000 of the benefits of his criminal conduct to make a partial payment for a Rolex watch worth $21,000.
His lawyers said that among his offences, he had managed remote gambling on two websites, and had also assisted in the conduct of remote gambling on a third platform.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Lydia Goh told the court that Kho started being involved in illegal gambling in 2012 when he became an agent for unlawful soccer betting, earning between $2,000 and $5,000 a month.
In mid-2016, he was introduced to a Malaysian man known only as “Ah Leong”. Kho then agreed to join Ah Leong in the latter’s 4-D and Toto business.
Kho stopped being an agent for soccer betting in early 2017. He then became a “master agent” for an illegal gambling website in April that year, earning between $30,000 and $40,000 a month on average. But there were months when he earned less than $30,000 or earned nothing at all.
Kho was also involved in the dealings of other gambling websites and earned cash from illegal activities.
For instance, he earned between $3,000 and $4,000 a month over one of the websites while for another, he earned between $2,000 and $3,000 monthly.
Kho’s offences came to light when police raided his home on July 28, 2019, and arrested him.
It was part of an islandwide operation that led to the arrest of 35 other people involved in a syndicate that carried out unlawful remote gambling activities.
Officers seized from Kho items including four Rolex watches, a laptop computer and two mobile phones.
Kho was represented by lawyers Sunil Sudheesan, Joyce Khoo and Chow Ee Ning from Quahe Woo & Palmer.
In their mitigation plea, they said: “(Kho) has put in sincere efforts at rehabilitation and promises never to engage in remote gambling again.”
The lawyers also told the court that this case involved their client’s first brush with the law.
Kho’s bail was set at $50,000 on Tuesday, and he is expected to surrender himself at the State Courts on May 23.