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SINGAPORE - A customer service officer from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and her accomplice were taken to court on Thursday (Oct 10) for allegedly receiving a bribe to expedite the process for a Malaysian woman applying to become a Singapore permanent resident.
Singaporean Lucy Teo, 49, was accused of conspiring with another Singaporean, Sharon Loo Wai Woon, 28, to corruptly obtain $1,500 from Fenny Tey Hui Nee to speed up her PR application.
A joint statement by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said that all three women were charged in court on the same day for their alleged offences related to the case.
Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Teo and Loo face two charges each for allegedly receiving the bribe and could face a maximum punishment of five years' jail and a $100,000 fine.
Teo also faces 20 counts of unauthorised access into ICA's Central Identification and Registration Information System (CIRIS).
She had allegedly entered the system without authority a total of 20 times - 11 times to retrieve Tey's PR application status records, thrice to access a man's passport number records, and on six occasions accessed another woman's PR application status records.
These offences are punishable under the Computer Misuse Act. Teo could face a fine of up to $5,000 or be jailed for up to two years, or both, if found guilty of the offences.
The joint statement did not include information on the other two individuals whose records Teo had allegedly checked.
In response to queries, the ICA said it takes a serious view of errant officers. The agency reported Teo to the police after the case was detected through its internal checks and investigations.
Teo's role as a customer service officer involved handling public inquiries on National Registration Identity Card matters and did not involve the processing of PR applications.
The CPIB and SPF said in the statement: "Public officers are entrusted with the custody and maintenance of government systems and the data therein. They are expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standard of conduct and integrity.
"The police will deal severely with public officers who mishandle any government systems and the data therein, including charging them in court.
Tey, the 24-year-old Malaysian involved in the case, faces two counts of corruptly giving the $1,500 bribe to Teo as an inducement to expedite her Singapore PR application.
This is an offence punishable with up to five years' jail and a $100,000 fine.
The authorities also reminded public officers of their duty to maintain the highest standards of personal conduct and integrity.
"Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. It is a serious offence to accept or obtain bribes from another individual or entity," they said.
SINGAPORE - Actress Rosalind Pho Li Ann, who is better known as Roz Pho, downed about two glasses of white wine before going behind the wheel earlier this month.
The 36-year-old Dutch national, who appeared in television series Tanglin, was fined $1,750 on Thursday (Oct 10) after pleading guilty to a drink driving charge.
The Singapore permanent resident was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for 15 months.
The court heard that Pho went to The Wine Company bistro in Dempsey Road at around 10pm on Oct 1 to meet friends, and consumed alcoholic beverages.
She was driving home along Holland Road towards Ulu Pandan Road at around 12.50am the next day when police stopped her car at a roadblock.
Officers found that Pho reeked of alcohol and she failed a breathalyser test.
She was later found with 47 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The prescribed limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Pho, who was unrepresented in court on Thursday, pleaded for a shorter length of disqualification.
She told District Judge Lorraine Ho that her mother has eye problems and needs to be driven around.
First-time offenders convicted of drink driving can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to $5,000.
Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $10,000.