Kim Lim’s Ex-Husband Jailed For His Role in Illegal Gambling Syndicate


Last Updated on 2023-05-16 , 1:31 pm

The former husband of Singaporean socialite Ms Kim Lim, Mr Kho Bin Kai, has been sentenced to two years and ten months in jail for his involvement in an illegal gambling syndicate. 

Mr Kho, who is 32 years old and was also the ex-son-in-law of billionaire business tycoon Mr Peter Lim, was also fined $40,000 during his court hearing on 9 May 2023.

Mr Kho, who has a son with Ms Lim, pleaded guilty to five charges, which included managing remote gambling and using criminal proceeds to purchase luxury watches. 

The court considered an additional eight charges during sentencing.

According to reports, Mr Kho first started participating in illegal gambling in 2012 as an agent for football betting, which earned him between $2,000 to $5,000 per month. 

This eventually led him to become involved in an illegal gambling syndicate.


Started Getting More Involved in Illegal Gambling Over the Years

In 2017, Mr Kho and Ms Lim tied the knot after meeting in a temple in Thailand the year before, with Ms Lim reportedly attracted to his “bad boy vibes”.

These “vibes” soon became too real when Mr Kho found himself in legal trouble for assisting in remote gambling during his marriage to Ms Lim.

Before marrying Ms Lim, he was introduced to an individual dubbed “Ah Leong” in mid-2016, who invited him to join his illegal 4D and TOTO gambling business.

Mr Kho proceeded to act as the master agent for this gambling website in April 2017, taking a 10% commission and 90% of the centralised profit from all tickets purchased from the illegal site. 


Mr Kho used $32,000 of his criminal proceeds to purchase an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch in 2016 and $5,000 to partially pay for a diamond-encrusted Rolex in 2015. 

Despite this, Ms Lim stated that she filed for divorce from Mr Kho because their marriage had become dull and not because of his brushes with the law. 

The couple had a relatively peaceful marriage for the first two years between 2017 and 2018, with minimal quarrels, and had a son named Kyden Koh within five months of marriage.

However, it seemed neither being married to an ultra-rich socialite like Ms Lim nor the status of her billionaire father, Mr Lim, was enough for Mr Koh.

Mr Kho’s earnings from his master agent account from the illegal gambling website ranged from $30,000 to $40,000 per month on average, but some months were noted to have yielded no profits. 

This was clearly not enough for Mr Koh, as he soon resorted to taking control of other master agent accounts to compensate for the financial losses he experienced in 2017.

He even paid monthly salaries to smaller agents under him to manage these accounts. 

One website reportedly took bets amounting to $326,766 from 4D and TOTO punters in just one week in July 2019.

Sentencing for Mr Koh

The police conducted a search of Mr Koh’s house, resulting in the seizure of several items, including four Rolexes, cash in different amounts, his laptop, and his vehicle.

The prosecution claimed that Mr Kho had served as a master agent for “Ah Leong” for three years and had engaged in the crimes solely for personal gain.


Therefore, they opted for a stricter stance, requesting a jail term ranging from two to four years and one month, as well as a fine of $60,000.

Representing Mr Kho in the trial, lawyers Mr Sunil Sudheesan, Ms Joyce Khoo, and Ms Chow Ee Ning from Quahe Woo & Palmer requested a prison term of 12 to 14 months and a fine not exceeding $40,000.

Mr Sudheesan, in his defence, claimed that Mr Kho lacked the authority or ability to promote other master agents.

He also noted that Mr Kho had fully cooperated with the authorities during the past four years of investigations since 2019.

Despite Mr Sudheesan’s argument, the judge highlighted Mr Kho’s degree of culpability and the amount involved in the crimes, which were greater than those of a co-accused individual who had been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Mr Kho has since been allowed to defer his sentence by two weeks.


Increasing Cases of Illegal Gambling Activities in Singapore

In Singapore, gambling is generally prohibited unless licensed or exempted, whether it’s physical or online.

The exception to the ban on physical gambling would only be social gambling, such as playing banluck during Chinese New Year celebrations.

As it has become easier for individuals to find loopholes around gambling online, the Singapore government has placed further restrictions by blocking illegal online gambling websites, advertisements for these websites, and payment services linked to illegal online gambling.

In one incident in 2021, 33 individuals were arrested for illegal gambling, and over $60,000 was confiscated. 

The suspects, including the owner of the apartment where the gambling took place, were charged under the Common Gaming Houses Act and Remote Gambling Act.


Another raid in 2022 led to the arrest of 19 men and one woman for suspected involvement in illegal remote gambling. 

More than $118,000 in cash, as well as computers, mobile phones, and gambling-related documents, were seized. 

The authorities also froze 70 bank accounts that were traced back to illegal gambling activities.

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