ICA specialist granted social visit passes to foreigners for a fee

Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer, was charged in court with corruption on Sept 4, 2013. Mustaffa admitted to 12 of 35 charges of corruption. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHOW PAK WENG  
Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer, was charged in court with corruption on Sept 4, 2013. Mustaffa admitted to 12 of 35 charges of corruption. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHOW PAK WENG  

An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) specialist who took and gave bribes to grant social visit passes to various foreigners to enter Singapore was jailed for 21 months on Monday. Corporal Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali, 29, admitted to 12 of 35 charges of corruption. He was ordered to pay a penalty of $8,050 or in default, sentenced to four weeks' jail.

A district court heard that Mustaffa, who was attached to Tuas checkpoint, met a Filipino woman at a pub in Paramount Hotel in 2010. He agreed to help her "extend'' her social visit pass by getting a new pass for 30 days for a fee.

Through the unidentified Filipina, he met Philibert Tng Hai Swee who told him that he knew of foreigners who were willing to pay him money to for the pass. Mustaffa charged between $250 and $450 per extension. After each successful transaction, Tng would collect payment from all the foreigners concerned, and keep $50 per person for himself before passing the rest to Mustaffa. Mustaffa also assisted foreigners who contacted him directly, charging them $300 to $500 for every pass extension.

A total of 33 foreigners, comprising females from the Philippines and Vietnam, participated in Mustaffa's scheme. Mustaffa knew they were working illegally in Singapore.

He engaged the services of four individuals to ferry the foreigners on a round trip between Singapore and Malaysia for a fee.

He also recruited four colleagues, Mohamed Nazrul Noor Mohamed, Lukmanulhakim Samsun, Nor Hidayat Mohamed Hussain, and Ezhar Kamis, by instructing them to grant the foreigners a new pass for 30 days without carrying out the checks required by ICA. Hidayat left ICA in February 2011.

Tng died in October 2011. The others have not been charged.

The maximum penalty for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail on each charge.