Bribing medic: jail for 4th man

A former detainee at the Singapore Armed Forces detention barracks has become the fourth to be convicted of bribing a service medic for the use of his mobile phone.

Castelli Lee Chun Seng, 33, was jailed for four weeks yesterday after he pleaded guilty to corruptly giving $50 to Chai Yit Hoong on March 2, 2012.

He also gave two other sums of $50 to Chai through his girlfriend, offences that were considered during his sentencing.

Chai, now 25, was jailed for 12 weeks and ordered to pay a $750 penalty for corruption last week. He had been doing his full-time national service at the time.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmin Kaur said that Lee was sharing a cell with Ramesh Thangavelu, now 35, when he found out that another detainee, Sarvenan Sundramutthy, was allowed to use Chai's phone in exchange for money.

Both Lee and Ramesh wanted to do so too, though they knew it was against the rules. One night, they asked Chai if they could use his mobile. Chai did not reject the request outright.

About a week later, Lee spoke to him again, pleading to use his phone. Chai told him he was going through financial difficulties and that Sarvenan would give him cash in exchange for using the phone.

On an evening in March 2012, Chai passed his phone to Lee and Ramesh in their cell, and said he would be back later to collect it.

Lee asked Chai for his bank account number, and subsequently called his girlfriend and asked her to transfer $50 to Chai's bank account.

So far, three of those who bribed Chai have been jailed for four weeks each.

Lee, who had convictions for unlicensed moneylending, cheating, causing hurt and disorderly behaviour, was represented by Mr Ng Shiyang under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Fellowship, which started in January.

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

The case against Sarvenan, 30, will be mentioned on April 13.


This article was first published on Mar 18, 2015.
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