Shipping executive jailed 3 weeks for offering LTA officers S$100 bribe over an oBike

Shipping executive jailed 3 weeks for offering LTA officers S$100 bribe over an oBike

oBike east of Singapore
This abandoned oBike was found along Telok Kurau Road. (Photo: Amir Yusof)  

SINGAPORE: A shipping executive was sentenced to three weeks in jail on Friday (Jan 29) for offering a S$100 bribe over an oBike bicycle that was about to be seized by two Land Transport Authority (LTA) officers.

The incident took place on Jun 21, 2018 when Wong Swee Liang was told by his colleague that the bicycle he had parked at his office premises was being taken away by two LTA enforcement officers.

The 58-year-old then approached officers Abdul Hakim Abdul Hamid and Norris Ang and asked if he could purchase the bicycle from LTA, according to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

His request was turned down by both officers, who advised him to approach LTA officially if he had other queries, CPIB said in a press release.

Wong then offered S$50 to Mr Ang to stop him from seizing the bicycle. Mr Ang rejected the bribe and warned Wong that his actions constituted attempted bribery.

"Undaunted by the warning, Wong took out his wallet and offered Officer Ang Norris S$100 instead," said CPIB.

Mr Ang rejected the bribe again and the matter was then referred to CPIB.

WONG CLAIMED HE THOUGHT LTA OFFICERS WERE SALVAGE CONTRACTORS

Wong was found guilty of one charge of corruption earlier this month, reported TODAY.

District Judge Salina Ishak rejected his claim that he initially thought the LTA officers were salvage contractors and he merely wished to buy the bicycle from them. 

According to the report, Wong bought the black bicycle from a colleague and he suspected that it belonged to bicycle-sharing operator oBike, even though oBikes were typically yellow.

Around the time of the offence, oBike had abruptly exited the Singapore market, leaving about 70,000 bicycles scattered around the island, with more than 200,000 users owed S$8.9 million in unrefunded deposits.

READ: 'We don't want the hype' - How homegrown operators aim to revive bike-sharing in Singapore

TODAY said Wong used the shared bicycle to shuttle between his office in Ubi and an MRT station.

CPIB said bribing or attempting to bribe public officers is a "serious offence".

For corruption offence, Wong could have been fined up to S$100,000, jailed up to five years or both.

Source: CNA/jt

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