Wang Chin Sing v Public Prosecutor
Parcours procédural du dossier
Court: District Court
Date of decision: 4 September 2008
Reference: Public Prosecutor v Wang Chin Sing  SGDC 268
Mr Wang Chin Sing pleaded guilty to five charges involving contraventions of the Human Organ and Transplant Act (Cap 131A, 2005, Rev Ed) and the Oaths and Declarations Act (Cap 211, 2001, Rev Ed) read with the Penal Code (Cap 244, 1985, Rev Ed).
In assessing the level of culpability, District Judge Ng Peng Hong emphasised the active role of middleman or ‘broker’ played by Mr Wang Chin Sing in organising and executing the transactions.(para.54) It was held that:
-Mr Wang Chin Sing was intimately involved in the two transactions (para.37) involving the purchase of kidneys from living donors for Mr Tang Wee Sung (Singaporean) and Ms Juliana Soh (Indonesian).
-This role went beyond that of a mere medical concierge who facilitated the transactions or a mere host or caretaker.(para.37)
-The agreed fee paid by Mr Tang Wee Sung was S$300,000, five times that paid by Ms Juliana Soh. This was an obvious exploitation of Mr Tang Wee Sung’s terminal illness as well as of the desperation of the poor, the donors.(para.39)
-Mr Wang Chin Sing instigated and coached both donors into making false statutory declarations before a Commissioner for Oaths.(para.57) Mr Wang Chin Sing also taught one donor to make a false statement in an application for the written authorisation of the Transplant Ethics Committee.(para.58).
Decision: The District Judge imposed an aggregate sentence of 14 months imprisonment. Mr Wang Chin Sing was granted S$60,000 bail pending an appeal.
Court: Supreme Court of Singapore (High Court)
Date of decision: 19 November 2008
Reference: Wang Chin Sing v Public Prosecutor 2008 SGHC 215; 2009 1 SLR(R) 870
Victime / Demandeurs de la première instance
Défendeurs / Répondants de la première instance
Résumé des faits
Mr Wang Chin Sing had been engaged by Mr Tang Wee Sung and Ms Juliana Soh to source and purchase kidneys from living donors. Mr Wang Chin Sing was paid SGD 300,000 (approximately USD 237,125) consideration from Mr Tang Wee Sung, an amount five-times the amount paid by Ms Juliana Soh.
The first living donor was an Indonesian man named T. He had worked as a garbage collector in Indonesia for which he received slightly less than SGN 140 (approximately USD 110) per month. He had lost his job in January 2008 and was facing financial difficulties.[Lit Cheng Lee, â€˜Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencingâ€™ (2008) 9 Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases 265, 288] He was identified as a potential donor and agreed to enter into the transaction to sell his kidney to Juliana Soh. For the purpose of participating as a living donor, T. made a false declaration that Juliana Soh was his adopted mother and that he would not be paid any money for the donation of his kidney. He underwent a successful transplant operation in March 2008 and one of his kidneys was transplanted to Juliana Soh. After the operation, T. was paid a sum of SGN 29,290 (approximately USD 23,150) and returned to Indonesia.
In May of 2008, T. was again contacted for the purpose of accompanying another Indonesian man, S.D., to Singapore for a transplant operation. T. was paid SGN 3200 (approximately USD 2,530) to act as the liaison between Mr Wang Chin Sing and S.D. S.D. had worked as a labourer and was earning around SGN 120 (approximately USD 95) per month. He had also lost his job in January and was desperate for money.[Lit Cheng Lee, â€˜Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencingâ€™ (2008) 9 Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases 265, 289.] He was offered around SGN 23,700 (approximately USD 18,737) to sell his kidney to Mr Tang Wee Sung, to which he agreed.
In June 2008, S.D. flew into Singapore where he met T. and Wang Chin Sing at Changi International Airport. He was then brought to an apartment where he stayed with T. At Wang Chin Singâ€™s directions, S.D. participated in the requisite psychological and medical tests and other preparatory procedures to the transplant. S.D. also made a false declaration that Mr Tang Wee Sung was a distant relative and that he would not be paid for the donation. Both of the donors (S.D. and T.) were, in reality, unrelated to and had never met Mr Tang Wee Sung or Ms Juliana Soh.
On 29 May 2008, a police report was lodged with Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre based on information received by the Ministry of Health. This information alerted police that blood samples from multiple foreign nationals had been sent to Singapore for the purposes of cross matching against the blood sample of Mr Tang Wee Sung. Consequently, the transaction between Mr Tang Wee Sung, Mr Wang Chin Sing and S.D. was uncovered by police before the transplant operation could take place.[Lit Cheng Lee, â€˜Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencingâ€™ (2008) 9 Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases 265, 289]
Human Organ Transplant Act (Cap 131A, 2005 Rev Ed) s. 14(1) read with s. 14(2)
This case was an appeal brought by Mr Wang Chin Sing against the sentence imposed by the District Judge in Public Prosecutor v Wang Chin Sing  SGDC 268. The appeal was dismissed.
- The culpability of the ‘middlemen’ in cases of organ trafficking can vary according to the circumstances of the case and such culpability should ultimately depend upon the precise role played in procuring the organ trade.(para.3)
- On the facts, the sentence imposed by the District Judge was amply justified.
On the facts, the sentence imposed by the District Judge was amply justified." In his reasoning, V K Rajah JA condemned the role of the ‘shady middlemen’ who engage in the exploitation often financially challenged and poorly educated donors for their own financial gain. Under the Human Organ Transplant Act (Cap 131A, 2005, Rev Ed) there is no legitimate role to play in the process of donor and organ matching and transfer for people who seek to secure from it a commercial advantage.(para.3) V K Rajah JA also emphasised the primary sentencing consideration as being general deterrence and not retribution. Sentences must firmly deter other individuals from contemplating acting as middlemen in organ-trading. As such, the role played by the middleman should be accorded prominence as a matter of sentencing policy.(para.6) The aggregate sentence imposed by the District Judge sufficiently and appropriately articulated this message that trafficking will not be tolerated in Singapore.(para.6)
Public Prosecutor v Sulaiman Damanik and Another  SGDC 175.
Public Prosecutor v Tang Wee Sung  SGDC 262.
Public Prosecutor v Wang Chin Sing  SGDC 268.
Wang Chin Sing v Public Prosecutor  SGHC 215 (19 November 2008).
Lee, Lit Cheng â€˜Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencingâ€™ (2008) 9 Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases 265.
Lim, Charles Aeng Cheng, â€˜Life and Death: A Decade of Biomedical Law Making 2000-2010â€™ (2010) 22 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 850.
Tan, Paul â€˜Judicial Mercy and its Limits: Public Prosecutor v Tang Wee Sung  SGDC 262â€™ (2009) 9(1) Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 185.