Man checking X-ray unit told colleague to pour water on it

Contract firm's tech officer fined $10k for bid to cheat at Maju Camp

A technical support officer of a contract firm asked his colleague to pour water on a faulty X-ray machine he had been tasked to repair.

Chin Wei Rong wanted to make the damage appear as if it had been the result of a user fault.

This would mean the machine at the Maju military camp would not have to be fixed within 72 hours, as stipulated in the contract with the company Chin worked for - O'Connor's, which was contracted by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) to maintain X-ray machines at various Singapore Armed Forces camps around Singapore.

In doing so, Chin tried to cheat and induce a DSTA representative into handing over $23,500 to O'Connor's.

Yesterday, Chin, 45, was fined $10,000 by District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim. A second charge of attempted mischief was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Chin and Mr Ng Sai Meng, a technical support engineer, went to Maju Camp to examine the X-ray machine on Aug 19 last year. Chin believed that a part of the machine, known as the combo box, was faulty.

When Chin found a bottle of water lodged inside the machine, he handed it to Mr Ng and asked him to pour the water on the machine. Mr Ng did so.

That evening, Chin e-mailed DSTA's system manager Goh Teck Lin, enclosing a service report and a quotation of $23,500, as replacement fees for the combo box.

Three days later, he provided an official incident report to Mr Goh, falsely stating that the machine damage had been caused by water.

But on Aug 24, Mr Goh was informed by Maju Camp personnel that the machine appeared to be working and there were no burnt components as well.

After viewing the closed-circuit television footage, Mr Goh questioned Chin on the thoroughness of his examination, noting that he did not remove the combo box.

A subsequent examination revealed that it was the motherboard that had been damaged, which cost $2,800 to replace.

Maju Camp conducted an internal investigation, reviewed the CCTV footage in detail and found out what Chin and Mr Ng had done.

A police report was made on Sept 1 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Charis Low sought a fine of $8,000, taking into consideration that Chin did not commit the offence for personal gain.

Mr Ng has been given a stern warning.

The maximum penalty for attempted cheating is 18 months' jail and a fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2017, with the headline 'Man checking X-ray unit told colleague to pour water on it'. Print Edition | Subscribe