[Photo (from L to R): Foo Yong Meng, Ang Kok Tong; Benjamin Giam Kok Meng and Muhammad Shaiful Ismail, both sentenced to two week's jail and fined $500.]
SINGAPORE: Singapore Customs (SC) prosecuted four motorists found tampering with fuel gauges.
Of the four Singaporean men, three were Chinese and one was a Malay, aged between 30 and 36. They are the first to be charged for committing such offence this year.
Two of the four men have pleaded guilty for not having the minimum amount of motor spirit in their vehicles' fuel tanks when attempting to leave Singapore. Also, they admitted to giving false information to the officer inspected the fuel gauges.
For the two charges, they were each sentenced to $500 fine or in default five day's jail, and two weeks' imprisonment respectively.
Court proceedings are still ongoing for the other two cases.
DETAILS OF THE CASE
The four men were arrested within a short span of one and half hour in the wee hours of the morning on January, 13, 2010.
At about 12.30 am, Raymond Foo Yong Meng, aged 32, was caught with a tampered fuel gauge at the Woodlands Checkpoint. His car fuel gauge indicated that the tank was full. However, close examination of the car confirmed that its fuel gauge had been tampered and the true reading of fuel gauge was at the one-quarter mark. Foo was alleged to have used a remote control to change the fuel gauge reading.
Half an hour later, another motorist Muhammad Shaiful Bin Ismail, aged 30, was found with a tampered fuel gauge in his car at the same checkpoint. Furthermore, a remote control device used for tampering with the fuel gauge meter was found in the small coin compartment of the vehicle.
He was arrested immediately. At about 2.00 am, two other men - Benjamin Giam Kok Meng, 36, and Ang Kok Tong, 31, were also arrested for committing similar offences.
Under the law, Singapore-registered cars must have at least three-quarter tank of petrol when departing Singapore.
Motorists are advised against any attempts to infringe the rule given the stringent checks at the checkpoints.
Last year, SC prosecuted 24 persons for tampering with the fuel gauges on their vehicles. All were convicted and sentenced to both fines and imprisonment, except for one case which is currently undergoing court proceedings.In 2008, four motorists were prosecuted for tampering with the fuel gauges on their vehicles.
Those who tamper with the fuel gauges of their vehicles to give a false reading that the amount of fuel in the fuel tank is three-quarters full or more, shows a deliberate intent to cheat the authorities. Such offenders are liable on conviction to fines not exceeding $5,000 and/or jail term up to 12 months.