Trader jailed 10 months for Woodlands checkpoint breaches and customs offences

Malaysian Tan Chu Seng, who dashed across the Woodlands checkpoint in his Mercedes Benz, was jailed 10 months and fined $1,400 on Friday for offences including mischief and causing hurt by a rash act. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Malaysian Tan Chu Seng, who dashed across the Woodlands checkpoint in his Mercedes Benz, was jailed 10 months and fined $1,400 on Friday for offences including mischief and causing hurt by a rash act. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - The man who dashed across the Woodlands checkpoint in his Mercedes Benz was jailed 10 months and fined $1,400 on Friday for offences including mischief and causing hurt by a rash act.

Malaysian Tan Chu Seng, 64, a businessman, was also ordered to pay $2,800 compensation to the Government for damaging the security barrier in March this year.

The Singapore permanent resident had admitted to five charges with two others taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim had said Tan, a Singapore permanent resident, was returning to Singapore from Malaysia on March 8 when he failed to complete the necessary checks for customs clearance.

After taking out some items from his boot, he was asked to open the spare tyre compartment but he could not lift the over. He went back to the driver's seat and pretended to lift a lever. He then walked back to the rear of the car and tried to lift the spare tyre compartment but was unsuccessful.

He then went to the driver's seat a second time, and drove off. The officer shouted for help to stop him.

While driving towards the green channel, Tan hit a safety cone, which became stuck under the front bumper.

When an ICA officer asked him to stop and step out of his car, Tan nodded his head but drove off instead. The panic alarm was activated.

Five officers, including auxiliary police officer Safie Marhom, 46, chased after him. Tan continued to ignore their direction to stop.

Mr Safie was knocking continuously on the driver's door when Tan accelerated near the end of the old flexi-lane. He turned his steering wheel to the right and the car hit Mr Safie on his arm, causing him to fall. The officer was given six days' medical leave.

After hitting Mr Safie, Tan swerved to the left and mounted a kerb and overtook three stationary cars. His car also hit the raised cat claw security barrier, causing a damage of $2,800. Both the front tyres were damaged.

In the customs case, the court heard after he dashed through the checkpoint, he met a man named Ah Lao at a carpark in Ang Mo Kio. Tan sold him 20 cartons of cigarettes, for which duties have not been paid, for $800. He had earlier bought them from a peddler at Mandai for $640.