Construction worker jailed for assaulting public servant and offering $12 bribe

SINGAPORE - A construction worker assaulted an auxiliary police officer after she caught him smoking at the void deck of a block of flats.

After that, Liu Huibin offered Ms Aruna Magathevan and her colleague, Mr Mohammed Latiff Mohd Ali, a $12 bribe in exchange for letting him go.

They turned down the offer.

The 44-year-old Chinese national was sentenced on Wednesday (July 22) to two months and two weeks' jail after pleading guilty to one count each of assaulting a public servant and offering the bribe.

Ms Aruna and Mr Latiff were performing their enforcement duties at the void deck of Block 312B Sumang Link in Punggol at around 7.40pm on Jan 27 when they spotted Liu smoking nearby.

The pair then approached him as they wanted to hand him a notice to attend court for the offence of smoking in a prohibited area.

Liu put out his cigarette and addressed the auxiliary police officers in Mandarin.

Ms Aruna phoned her supervisor, who could speak the language. She passed the phone to Liu and the supervisor told him that he had committed an offence, before asking him to also provide his particulars to the two officers.

Liu replied that he did not have his work permit with him and asked to be given another chance before returning the phone to Ms Aruna.

She then called the police as he was unwilling to produce his particulars. Liu picked up his belongings soon after and tried to leave the scene.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Chan said: "Aruna moved forward to prevent Liu from leaving. Liu then grabbed Aruna's left wrist and pushed her shoulder.

"Aruna then instructed Liu to remain seated and to wait for the police to arrive. Liu complied and sat down."

While waiting for police to arrive, Liu took out $12 from his pocket and offered the money to the two auxiliary police officers. He also tried to slip the money into Mr Latiff's right pocket when they refused the offer.

Mr Latiff managed to stop him from doing so and Liu put back the cash into his own pocket.

Ms Aruna later went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where she was found with a bruise on her left wrist.

In a joint statement with the Singapore Police Force on Wednesday, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that it would like to commend Ms Aruna and Mr Latiff for their integrity.

The agencies added: "The police and CPIB adopt a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and the assault of any public officers performing their duty. These are serious offences."

For offering the bribe, Liu could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000.

And for assaulting a public servant, he could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.