Malaysian man, 46, gets additional 6 months' jail after 20 years on the run

The man fled to Malaysia through the Woodlands Checkpoint sometime in October 1999, with the help of a friend. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A man who was on the run from the law for 20 years was sentenced on Friday (June 11) to an additional six months in jail for misleading an immigration officer and for missing a court hearing in 2000.

Siva Kumar Ramachandram, 46, fled to Malaysia after being convicted here of smuggling illegal immigrants out through the Woodlands Checkpoint, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said on Friday.

He had been sentenced to five years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Sept 24, 1999.

But Siva fled the country sometime in October 1999, with the help of a friend known only as "Boy".

At the Woodlands Checkpoint, Siva, a Malaysian, used an unidentified person's passport to cross into Malaysia.

He was on court bail at the time, and missed his magistrate's appeal hearing on March 9, 2000, at the High Court of Singapore.

A warrant for his arrest was issued that day, said CPIB.

He was arrested by the CPIB on March 4, 2020, with the help of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

On April 16, 2021, Siva was charged with offences under the Immigration Act and Penal Code.

He will serve the six-month jail term after completing his initial five-year sentence.

Siva was given the five-year sentence after he was found guilty of a conspiracy that involved bribing a Cisco officer to allow buses to transport illegal immigrants from Singapore into Malaysia through the Woodlands Checkpoint.

The Cisco officer was sentenced to one year in jail and fined $2,800 in 1999.

CPIB said that Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach to corruption.

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