Ex-ICA specialist jailed four months for corruption

A former Immigration and Checkpoints Authority specialist was jailed for four months on Tuesday for corruptly accepting $50 to grant two foreigners visit passes. He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $150, which was the total amount of bribes he took.

Nor Hidayat Mohamed Hussain, 26, now a fire control technician, was one of four ICA officers charged earlier this year with corruption.

He admitted to corruptly accepting $50 from his colleague, Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, 29, on Nov 4, 2010 in return for granting a 30-day social visit pass to two Filipinas so they could enter Singapore at Tuas Checkpoint.

Another similar charge involving $100 was taken into consideration.

The court heard that Mustaffa, who has been given a 21-month jail sentence and a penalty of $8,050, hatched a scheme in 2010 to earn money by helping foreigners obtain fresh social visit passes by performing U-turns. The "U-turn" refers to the practice of foreigners here going to Malaysia for a short period and then re-entering Singapore so their social visit passes are extended.

He collaborated with one Philibert Tng Hai Swee who would refer foreigners who wanted to get fresh visit passes and extend their stay in Singapore to him. Mr Tng died on Oct 10, 2011.

Mustaffa got Tng, his relative or his friend to ferry the foreigners on a round trip between Singapore and Malaysia for a fee. Tng was paid $50 a trip.

On days when Mustaffa was not on duty, he would ask Hidayat or the other ICA specialists to grant fresh social visit passes to the foreigners without carrying the checks required by ICA.

On Nov 4, he contacted Hidayat through a colleague and offered to pay him $50 for his help in facilitating the two Filipinas' entry into Singapore. Hidayat agreed.

Hidayat, who left ICA in February 2011, could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to seven years.