SINGAPORE - A driver gave bribes totalling $1,000 to a police station inspector who showed him photographs of a group of men arrested for rioting.
Lim Sua Huat, 61, pleaded guilty to three of seven charges - two of corruptly giving $1,000 in all to then station inspector Terence Lam Guo Long, and one of receiving information from the 38-year-old. There were reasonable grounds to believe that the information was communicated to Lim in breach of the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
On Thursday (Dec 28), Lim was sentenced to nine months' jail for corruption and six weeks' jail for the OSA charge by District Judge Ng Peng Hong, who allowed him to start his sentence on Feb 27.
Lam, who quit the police force in February last year, was sentenced to seven months and six weeks' jail and ordered to pay $1,000 as penalty earlier in August.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhas Malhotra said on Thursday that Lim was working for Bez Balloon, a company set up by a man named Goh Siong Kiat, at the material time. He came to know Lam in 2008 or 2009 when the latter was with the police force.
On Oct 4, 2015, Lam, then attached to Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre, arrested 13 men for rioting in Clive Street in Little India. He and his colleagues took photographs of the men with their mobile phones while the men were in custody.
A few days later, one of the 13 men, Pua Kok Siong, sought Goh's help to get a non-custodial sentence as he knew Goh had some contacts in the police force.
Goh then asked Lim to find out who the investigation officer of the rioting case was. He also gave Lim $1,000 to be used to try to obtain leniency for Pua. Lim agreed.
Lim called Lam and after finding out that Lam had been involved in the arrests, he asked to see the photographs of the suspects.
"Lim said that the headman of one of the gangs involved in the fight wanted to see the photos of the arrested individuals so that he could kick the troublemakers out of his gang," DPP Suhas told the court.
Lam told Lim he would not send the photographs but would show them to Lim on his mobile phone. When the two men met subsequently at a coffee shop in Veerasamy Road, Lam told Lim he could not help Pua because he was not the investigating officer and because all the rioters were caught on close-circuit television footage.
Though he declined to send the photographs to Lim, he allowed Lim to see the pictures on his mobile phone even though he was not authorised to do so.
In December, Lim gave Lam $500 as a reward for showing him the photographs.
Then about a month later on Jan 19 last year, he called Lam and again asked for the photographs of some individuals involved in the rioting case. This time, Lam sent him five photos via WhatsApp. Lim gave Lam another $500.
The maximum punishment for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail. The penalty under the OSA is a $2,000 fine and two years' jail.