Traffic Police clerk pleads guilty to graft

She gave accident victims' contact details to law firm in exchange for money

A clerk working at the Traffic Police investigation branch provided the contact details of 23 accident victims to an executive at a law firm in exchange for cash, a court heard on Tuesday.

Over two years, Khatijah A. Manap got at least $2,500 from Gulzar Raja Singh Sandhu - about $200 for each contact who eventually engaged his firm, Clifford Law.

On Tuesday, Khatijah, 61, pleaded guilty to three graft charges and five charges of wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act.

She admitted to five other corruption charges and 18 other wrongful communication charges. These will be considered when she is sentenced at a later date.

A district court heard that Khatijah was employed as a corporate support officer in charge of recording the movement of Traffic Police investigation papers.

In 2008, she got into a traffic accident and was referred to Raja by a relative of hers. He, in turn, introduced her to his daughter, Ms Viviene Sandhu, a lawyer at Clifford Law.

Over two years, Khatijah A. Manap got at least $2,500 from Gulzar Raja Singh Sandhu - about $200 for each contact who eventually engaged his firm Clifford Law.

Khatijah told Raja that she was working in the Traffic Police investigation branch.

She also saw him a few times at work, when he went there to buy official copies of traffic reports.

In 2010, after she had received the payout for her accident claim, she was approached by Raja at the Traffic Police headquarters.

He asked her to work with him. A few days later, she agreed.

Her offences came to light when a man who had been involved in an accident in early 2013 called the Traffic Police hotline to ask about the status of investigations into the crash.

He was connected to Khatijah's office line and left his particulars for a call-back.

Shortly after, he got a call from an "Azizah" claiming to be from Clifford Law. She advised him to consult Ms Sandhu if he wished to seek compensation and said she could arrange a meeting with a paralegal called Raja.

The man previously had got a call from "Azizah" about seeking compensation after he lodged a report in early 2012 for an accident in which he was involved.

So after the call from "Azizah" in 2013, the man called Khatijah to ask her why she had disclosed his number to an outsider. She told him she was "Azizah".

He then reported the matter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2016, with the headline 'Traffic Police clerk pleads guilty to graft'. Print Edition | Subscribe