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Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Crime

Ex-ICA officer jailed 4 months for corruption

The Straits Times | Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Nor Hidayat Mohamed Hussain, 26, is the third of four ICA officers to be jailed since they were brought to court earlier this year.

A former Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) specialist was jailed for four months yesterday for corruption.

Nor Hidayat Mohamed Hussain, 26, is the third of four ICA officers to be jailed since they were brought to court earlier this year.

The former primary screening officer admitted to accepting $50 from his then-colleague, Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, 29, in November 2010 to grant two Filipino women a 30-day social visit pass to enter Singapore.

Mustaffa was dealt a 21-month sentence and ordered to pay a penalty of $8,050 on 12 charges last December. Hidayat, now a fire control technician with a private company, was ordered to pay a penalty of $150, being the total amount of bribes he took.

A second charge of receiving $100 from Philibert Tng Hai Swee to ferry two foreigners on a round trip between Singapore and Malaysia in April 2011 was considered.

Tng, who died in October 2011, was one of those who collaborated with Mustaffa in his money- making scheme to help foreigners get fresh social visit passes by performing "U-turns".

A "U-turn" refers to the practice of foreigners here leaving for Malaysia for a short period and then re-entering Singapore to extend their social visit passes.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lai said Tng would refer foreigners who wanted to get fresh social visit passes and extend their stay here to Mustaffa.

Mustaffa charged $250 to $450 per visit extension for foreigners referred by Tng, and others, $300 to $500. He would pay Tng $50 a trip for ferrying the foreigners on a round trip. Generally, Mustaffa tried to arrange for the foreigners to perform "U-turns" when he was on duty at Tuas Checkpoint.

To deal with situations when he was not on duty and the foreigners needed the passes urgently, Mustaffa recruited four other ICA specialists, including Hidayat, to help him in the scheme.

All four officers were caught after the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau was tipped off in June 2011.

Hidayat could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.

 

This article was published on April 16 in The Straits Times.

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