3 months' jail for trying to bribe firefighter

SINGAPORE - A businessman who offered $1,000 to a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) firefighter to not report him for a drink-driving accident was sentenced to three months' jail on Wednesday.

Goh Choon Hee, 50, who pleaded guilty, is appealing against the sentence. In the meantime, he has been given bail of $20,000.

The court heard how Goh, while driving his Honda Civic car on June 20 last year, got into a head-on collision with a taxi at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Hougang Avenue 2. Sergeant Samuel Anandaraj Anthonyraj, who was in the vicinity, got to the scene first.

He was attending to the 60-year-old taxi driver, Mr Loy Chee Kah, and his passenger when Goh tried to leave by reversing his car.

The firefighter stopped him, and signalled to him to move his car back to the original spot.

When he knocked on the window and asked the driver to step out, Goh, whose breath alcohol level was later found to have exceeded the legal limit, pleaded to be allowed to leave.

Goh, who owns an apartment rental business, walked around unsteadily, saying he could not afford to have his driving licence revoked because he needed to drive about to collect rentals.

He then got his wallet from the car and showed the sergeant a $1,000 note.

He also made hand signals to indicate to the firefighter that he should let him go.

Sgt Anandaraj, 28, ignored him and reported the matter to his operations room.

Goh had also offered $1,000 to Mr Loy for the damage to his taxi.

He also told the cabby that he intended to offer $2,000 to the sergeant so that the parties could settle the matter privately. Mr Loy declined.

When the police arrived and arrested Goh for drink driving, he dropped the $1,000 note into the patrol car. It was recovered by police.

Goh could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.

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