2 women jailed for offering bribes to cops

In separate cases, women from Kazakhstan and China failed in bids to be let off the hook

Two foreign women were each jailed for four weeks yesterday in separate cases of attempting to bribe police officers.

Yelena Kalugina, 26, from Kazakhstan, corruptly offered $2,150 to a police inspector to overlook her vice activities, while Chinese national Yu Xiaorong, 48, offered $1,000 to another inspector in exchange for not taking enforcement action against her for illegal bookmaking activities.

On June 28, Inspector Loh Loong Ee and a staff sergeant from the Kampong Java Neighbourhood Police Centre went to Kalugina's room at Hotel Royal to attend to a report of suspected vice activities at the Newton Road hotel.

During the questioning, while in the toilet and in Insp Loh's presence, Kalugina pleaded to be released. She gestured to the police officer by rubbing her forefinger and thumb, which Insp Loh understood to mean "money".

He warned her that bribery was an offence and that her actions would be recorded by his body camera. He left the toilet and entered the bedroom area of the hotel room.

Kalugina then asked Insp Loh whether the body camera could be switched off. She then opened a drawer in a table and gestured to some cash within, totalling $2,150. She then asked Insp Loh to let her go and stated that she would take the next flight home.

Insp Loh refused the offer and later arrested her.

In the other case, the court heard that Yu, who is married to a Singaporean and on a long-term visit pass, was arrested for collecting illegal bets at Singapore Turf Club on July 17 last year.

While her statement was being recorded at Jurong Police Division that evening, Yu pleaded to Inspector Lam Wai Kit for leniency.

He said the police were conducting an investigation and told her to continue with her statement.

Midway through the recording, she offered $1,000 to Insp Lam to "buy tea" and not take enforcement action against her for illegal bookmaking activities.

She also gestured towards an evidence bag, which contained $4,000 cash and other items seized from her, intending to take out $1,000.

But Insp Lam rejected the offer and told her it was an offence to bribe police officers.

Towards the end of the statement recording, she again repeated her offer and asked the officer to give her a chance. Insp Lam again rejected the offer.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2017, with the headline '2 women jailed for offering bribes to cops'. Print Edition | Subscribe