ICA officer charged with accepting sex as bribes and breaching Official Secrets Act

SINGAPORE - A staff sergeant (SSGT) with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) allegedly received sexual gratification from two Chinese women in return for extending their Special Passes.

Chin Peng Sum, 51, is also accused of sharing information with them and two others about impending raids by an enforcement agency so they could avoid arrest for vice-related and immigration offences.

He was not authorised to share the information.

On Thursday (Sept 27), Chin was charged in court with 33 charges, including 13 counts of wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act, and four counts of corruptly accepting sexual gratification under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Court documents show Chin received sexual gratification from Chinese nationals Zhu Shirong and Wang Chenghong some time last year, as an inducement to recommend their Special Pass validity be extended.

Chin was also charged with intentionally obstructing the course of justice by deleting incriminatory text messages exchanged between him and the four individuals he had warned of impending raids, and telling them to do the same.

The messages were in connection with an ongoing investigation against him.

On Thursday, Chin and his wife Lee Lay Chin, 40, held hands as they walked out of the State Courts.

In response to media queries, an ICA spokesman said the agency takes a serious view of errant officers and had reported Chin to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) following its internal checks and investigations.

“SSGT Chin Peng Sum has been interdicted from service since June 15, 2017,” the spokesman said.

“ICA officers are expected to discharge their duties professionally and maintain a high standard of integrity. Officers who break the law will be dealt with, in accordance with the law.”

Chin will be back in court on Oct 25, with bail set at $5,000.

His lawyer S. Govindaraju said the charges were served only on Tuesday and Chin has not yet decided whether to claim trial or plead guilty, as they will need time to look into the matter.

In a statement later, CPIB said it is a serious offence for public officers to act in their own interests and use their position to solicit corrupt benefits.

"Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. The CPIB takes a serious view of any corrupt practices and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts."

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.