Ex-ICA officers charged with taking bribes

FOUR former Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officers were charged in court with corruption yesterday for allegedly accepting bribes in return for granting visit passes.

Ezhar Kamis, 25, Lukmanulhakim Samsun, 29, Mohamed Nazrul Noor Mohamed, 34, and Nor Hidayat Mohamed Hussain, 26, worked at Tuas Checkpoint.

Their duties included assessing whether foreigners met entry requirements and granting visit passes to visitors to Singapore. Lukmanulhakim faces one charge, while the others face two charges each.

They allegedly accepted bribes of between $50 and $100 from former ICA officer Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali in return for granting 30-day social visit passes to Filipinas between November 2010 and June 2011.

Mohamed Nazrul will be back in court on Feb 5, while Ezhar and Lukmanulhakim will return on Feb 6. A pre-trial conference is scheduled on Feb 13 for Nor Hidayat.

Mohammed Mustaffa, 29, was convicted for receiving and giving bribes, and sentenced to 21 months' jail and ordered to pay a penalty of $8,050 last December.

In a press statement, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said Singapore has always adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption.

It added: "The CPIB takes a serious view of any corrupt practices and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in corrupt practices."

If convicted, each man faces a fine of up to $100,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years per charge.

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