Ex-German Banker Planned Tours for Men to Have Sex with Young Girls in Spore

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A 47-year-old senior Deutsche Bank executive, who allegedly promoted overseas sex tours involving minors, was nabbed after police posed as potential clients in undercover operations.

  • Police planned undercover operation to probe Hartung for involvement in deviant sexual activities
  • Hartung met with police officers to disclose information on engaging in child sex in the Philippines
  • Police seized 37 items related to his alleged offences from his home

Michael Frank Hartung, a Singapore permanent resident who is from Germany, was charged in February last year, and on the first day of his trial today, Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim revealed more about how he was exposed.

Wong Kwai Chow

The court heard that the police planned the undercover operation to further investigate Hartung for his suspected involvement in deviant sexual activities.

In June 2015, they began to engage with Hartung online. One officer from the Criminal Investigation Department used the Yahoo online messaging service to chat with him, and asked Hartung to plan an overseas trip for him and his friends. The officer also said that he would like to have sex with young girls.

Hartung allegedly replied that he would be able to arrange it.

In August, he got in touch with a contact on messaging service Skype to ask whether there were young girls available for sex in the Philippines.

The police officer and his colleague then met Hartung in person the next month at a Starbucks cafe in Raffles City Shopping Centre. There, Hartung was said to have distributed information on engaging in child sex in the Philippines to the two officers. They also discussed details about the trip and payment, before agreeing to plan a trip there between October 15 and 18 that year.

In early October, Hartung asked his Skype contact if he could provide young girls during that period. When it seemed that his contact could not do so, Hartung did not contact the police officer to finalise the plans.

In a second undercover operation launched against Hartung later, the police found out that he was active on an online portal that catered to those interested in deviant sexual practices and lifestyles. Members interacted using a chat system within the site.

The police officer created an account using an alias and began chatting with Hartung, who was going by the alias ‘Lord Protector’.

The officer told Hartung that he was an expatriate and a Singapore permanent resident, then asked if Hartung could plan a trip for “young blood”, which referred to young girls.

Hartung supposedly told the officer that he could arrange that and proposed a face-to-face meeting.

Two officers from the Volunteer Special Constabulary unit then met Hartung at a bar on Mackenzie Road in April 2016. He allegedly provided information on child sex in the Philippines – including expected prices – to the officers, and discussed estimated dates for the trip and payment details.

After that, Hartung again did not contact them to finalise plans for the trip. He was later arrested on Aug 30, 2016.

The police searched his home and seized 37 items related to his alleged offences, but found nothing in his office. The trial is expected to continue until Friday.

The court will hear evidence from the four police officers involved in the undercover operations, as well as evidence from online chat logs. – TODAY