Driver who clocked 219kmh pleads guilty

He took part in an illegal race along Seletar Link and drove his wife's Nissan GTR at a speed of 219kmh.

This is more than three times the 60kmh speed limit along that road.

Food and beverage manager Koo Kwok En, now 37, pleaded guilty yesterday to three charges: taking part in an unlawful race, driving at a speed dangerous to the public and driving without insurance.

Koo committed the crimes at about 12.15am on May 9, 2015.

Two other counts, for similar offences involving another race that he took part in just four minutes after the first, will be considered when Koo is sentenced at a later date.

The court heard that Koo raced against Kevin Pratama Chandra, 24, who drove an orange Lamborghini.

They were not aware that Traffic Police officers were conducting an operation to detect illegal racing in Seletar Link.

The policemen spotted about 20 high-performance cars in the area.

Koo and Kevin were among drivers who parked their cars along the left side of the three-lane road.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhongshan told the court that Koo asked Kevin to race him and the latter agreed.

The duo positioned their vehicles near a lamp post, facing Seletar North Link. The Nissan GTR was in the rightmost lane while the Lamborghini was in the middle lane.

Said DPP Tan: "Kevin said 'Ok ready' and Koo replied 'Ok'. This was the signal for the start of the race.

"Both vehicles then started moving forward and accelerated rapidly when they passed (the lamp post).

"Kevin and Koo were driving at very high speeds and competing to see whose car was faster."

The finish point for the race was near another lamp post about 800m away.

When this race ended, the two men made an illegal U-turn, before racing down the same road again about four minutes later.

Traffic policemen later stopped them for dangerous driving.

Officers seized both cars.

Investigations also revealed that Koo, represented by lawyer Raymond Lye, was not an insured driver of the Nissan GTR. He is out on $5,000 bail and is scheduled to be back in court on April 13.

Meanwhile, Kevin's case has been fixed for a pre-trial conference on April 19.

For taking part in an illegal race, Koo can be jailed for up to six months and also fined between $1,000 and $2,000. For driving at a speed that is dangerous to the public, he can be jailed for up to one year and also fined up to $3,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Driver who clocked 219kmh pleads guilty'. Print Edition | Subscribe