Man jailed a week for taking 'coffee money'

Man jailed a week for taking 'coffee money'
Former security officer Kalaiarasan Muniandy accepted $10 from an MRT commuter after spotting her drinking inside the fare gates.

A Certis Cisco security officer spotted an MRT passenger flouting station laws by drinking water inside the fare gates and threatened her with a $300 fine.

But when she said she had only a $10 note on her, he asked if it was his "coffee money" and told her to put it on his desk - then let her walk free.

Kalaiarasan Muniandy, 22, was jailed for a week yesterday and ordered to pay a $10 penalty after pleading guilty to corruption. The Malaysian, whose services have been terminated, had been employed at Paya Lebar station when he saw Indonesian maid Hasna, 34, sipping water.

After approaching her and asking to see her work permit, he signalled her to the security desk and told her she would be issued a summons for $300, Deputy Public Prosecutor Haniza Abnass told the court.

He wrote her details on a checklist and then told Ms Hasna to call her employers to the station so they could pay her fine.

The domestic worker, who goes by one name, apologised and said she could not afford to pay it as she had worked in Singapore for only a few months - at which point he asked for $30.

She told him she had only $10 and took out the note, which Kalaiarasan told her to slip under a book on his desk. She did so and was allowed to leave.

After she had left, Kalaiarasan blotted out her particulars from the checklist.

District Judge Low Wee Ping agreed with the prosecution that a deterrent sentence had to be passed. He said the court was very disappointed with Kalaiarasan, who had abused his position.

The maximum penalty for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail.

This article was published on May 17 in The Straits Times.

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