ICA officer charged with accepting bribe

ICA officer charged with accepting bribe
CAUGHT: Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali trying to slink away after being charged in court.

SINGAPORE - Potted plants blocked his way when he first tried to escape the media on Wednesday.

Pushing his way through with papers shielding his face, the man shook off his pursuers, only to be confronted by a steep two-metre drop instead of a staircase.

Undeterred, he found a gap between a nearby staircase railing and a pillar.

Taking his chances, he dived through the gap, only to be briefly stuck there.

And he was caught on camera.

Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) officer Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, 29, was charged with corruption and had ducked out of court.

He faces 35 charges, of which 22 were for corruptly accepting gratification.

He had allegedly received $8,000 in "fees" between October 2010 and June 2011 for helping to prolong the stay of women from Vietnam and the Philippines.

He was attached to the Tuas Checkpoint as an ICA officer and investigations showed he would grant 30-day social visit passes to women who paid him.

They were said to have paid between $250 and $550 each time.

Mustaffa did most of his work with Philibert Tng Hai Swee, who would provide transport for these women and drive them through the checkpoint.

On duty

There, they would seek out Mustaffa, who would grant them the visit passes when he was on duty.

The New Paper understands that Mr Tng has died from cancer.

Mustaffa, who has been suspended from the force, roped in three other ICA officers who have since been sacked.

He allegedly paid each of the men $50.

His misdeeds were uncovered in mid-2011 by the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau.

As his charges were read out in court on Wednesday, Mustaffa kept his gaze to the floor. He did not have a lawyer and has asked for time to apply for one through the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

His case will be mentioned on Sept 25.


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