A former police officer was yesterday jailed for six months for pocketing money he had seized while investigating a case.
Ling Hock Huat, 39, received $2,025.98 from an offender in an unlicensed moneylending case in January 2007, but did not reflect this in investigation documents.
Instead, he used the money for personal expenses and to pay off his gambling debts.
The former staff sergeant was caught after an audit in December 2011 showed the money was unaccounted for.
Passing sentence yesterday, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said the police force here is known not just for its competence and efficiency, but also its honesty.
Citing remarks made in 2007 by then Judge of Appeal V.K. Rajah when increasing the jail term meted out to a former Cisco guard for theft, Judge Lim said: "...this hard-won reputation cannot be taken for granted and has to be jealously protected".
The court heard that Ling was assigned to investigate a 41-year-old man who had been paid by loan sharks for the use of his wife's bank account to collect debts owed. The man surrendered the money and a closure slip for the bank account to Ling, but Ling did not report or hand over the money to his supervisors, which was required as part of procedure.
Pleading for leniency, Ling said he lives with his parents, who have health issues, and has a son in Primary 2.
Ling, who pleaded guilty to criminal breach of trust, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.
This article was first published on September 02, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.