Jail, fine and ban for taking part in illegal race

F&B manager hit top speed of 219kmh during midnight race around Seletar Link

A food and beverage manager, who clocked 219kmh in his wife's Nissan GTR in an illegal race around Seletar Link, was sentenced to two weeks' jail yesterday.

Koo Kwok En, 37, was also fined $2,500 and banned from driving for 18 months after admitting to taking part in the illegal race, dangerous driving by accelerating and travelling at very high speed, and driving without insurance coverage at 12.16am on May 9, 2015.

Two other charges were considered in sentencing.

The court heard that Koo had challenged Kevin Pratama Chan- dra, 24, to a race. Kevin was driving a Lamborghini. The duo and their friends were part of a group who had parked their high-performance cars along the left side of Seletar Link that day.

When Kevin gave the "OK ready" signal to start the race, the two vehicles accelerated rapidly, to the cheers of spectators at the side of the road. The GTR's in-car camera showed it hit 219kmh briefly towards the end of the race, way exceeding the speed limit of 60kmh.

Police officers on anti-illegal racing operations had spotted the GTR and Lamborghini driving off Seletar Link in the direction of Tampines Expressway.

Neither Koo nor Kevin had a permit from the police to take part in a "competition of speed". Koo admitted he knew his actions had caused danger to himself and other road users. Kevin is claiming trial.

Koo, represented by Mr Raymond Lye, could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to $2,000 and banned from driving for at least 12 months for illegal racing.

The maximum penalty for dangerous driving is a $3,000 fine and 12 months' jail, and for the insurance charge, a $1,000 fine and three months' jail plus 12 months' disqualification.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'Jail, fine and ban for taking part in illegal race'. Print Edition | Subscribe