4 ICA officers charged with corruption

Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer, was charged in court with corruption on Sept 4, 2013. Mustaffa admitted to 12 of 35 charges of corruption.

SINGAPORE - Four Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers who allegedly helped to prolong the stay of foreigners in Singapore were charged in court on Thursday for corruption.

The four accused - Ezhar Bin Kamis, Lukmanulhakim Bin Samsun, Mohamed Nazrul Bin Noor Mohamed and Nor Hidayat Bin Mohamed Hussain - were attached to the Tuas Checkpoint, Singapore as ICA Specialists.

Their duties included assessing whether foreigners meet entry requirements, and granting visitor passes (VPs) to visitors for their period of stay in Singapore. The officers are now no longer in service with ICA.

Investigations revealed that the accused persons were recruited by former ICA officer Mohammed Mustaffa Bin Mohabat Ali (Mustaffa) in his scheme to grant VPs to foreign women to extend their stay in Singapore in return for monetary gains.

The four accused persons facilitated and assisted in this illicit activity, and received amounts between $50 and $100 for their part. For his role, Mustaffa was sentenced to a 21-month jail term on Dec 9, 2013 for receiving and giving bribes.

In a statement released to the media on Wednesday, the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) stressed that Singapore has always adopted a zero tolerance approach towards corruption, and it will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in corrupt practices.

ICA later released its own statement on Thursday, saying that the case surfaced through its internal checks and investigations, and that it "worked closely with CPIB and assisted in cracking the case".

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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